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Firth v. State of New York

Court of Appeals of New York
775 N.E.2d 463 (N.Y. 2002)


Facts

George Firth (plaintiff) was a former employee of the Department of Environmental Conservation, operated by the State of New York (defendant). Firth handled weapons acquisition for the Department’s Division of Law Enforcement. At a press conference on December 16, 1996, the Office of the State Inspector General issued a report critical of Firth’s acquisition practices. That same day, the State Education Department posted an executive summary with links to the full report text on its government information website. On March 18, 1998, Firth filed a claim against New York on the ground that the report defamed him. New York moved to dismiss because the one-year statute of limitations for defamation claims had passed. The trial court granted New York’s motion to dismiss, and the appellate division affirmed. Firth appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Levine, J.)

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