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Hogan v. Winder
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
762 F.3d 1096 (2014)
Chris Hogan (plaintiff) worked for the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (the agency) (defendant) prior to losing his job. Hogan asserted that he was terminated for reporting a conflict of interest in the way the agency awarded contracts, and he warned the agency that he would file suit for wrongful termination. Shortly after Hogan announced his intention to file suit, several articles appeared about him in the media regarding his prior performance of his duties and his dispute over his termination with his former employer. Some of the articles likened his threat to pursue litigation to extortion. Michael Winder (defendant), the mayor of a city (defendant) where the agency conducted business, admitted writing some of these articles under a pseudonym. Hogan filed suit against the agency, Winder, and the city for false-light invasion of privacy. However, Hogan’s false-light claim was dismissed by the trial court, which determined that the statements in the articles were not defamatory. Utah law did not require that the statements that place a person in a false light must be defamatory. Hogan appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Tymkovich, J.)
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