Practice point: A qualified privilege extends to any communication made by one person to another upon a subject in which both have an interest. Where a plaintiff can demonstrate that the communication made by the defendant was not made in good faith but was motivated solely by malice, the protection provided by the qualified privilege does not apply.
Student note: Mere conclusory allegations, or charges based upon surmise, conjecture, and suspicion, are insufficient to defeat the claim of the privilege.
Case: Bernacchi v. County of Suffolk, NY Slip Op 04725 (2d Dept. 2014)
Here is the decision.
Monday's issue: A claim for punitive damages is denied.