Appeals court affirms news coverage of former UTOPIA employee not defamatory
Michael Brandy, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling Tuesday that a news report written about a former UTOPIA employee was not defamatory.
Chris Hogan, a former employee of the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, attempted to sue the company, West Valley City, former Mayor Mike Winder and Deseret Digital Media in 2011 after an article about his contentious dismissal was published on KSL.com.
The article was written by Winder, then-mayor of West Valley City, who used the alias Richard Burwash on a number of freelance submissions via the Deseret Connect community contributor system.
Hogan served as vice president of marketing, sales and business development of the UTOPIA fiber-optic network until March 2011. In the lawsuit, he called the article a conspiracy and claimed it was defamatory, deprived him of Constitutional rights, invaded his privacy and intentionally inflicted emotional distress.
A district court ruled in 2012 and the federal appeals court affirmed Tuesday that the Burwash article about Hogan did not constitute defamation because there is sufficient context to explain critical statements.
In its decision, the court asserted Hogan cannot take his claims further.
— McKenzie Romero
- 'Overwhelming' community, national support...
- Updated newborn screening test picks up rare...
- 'Meet the Mormons' reaches $4.5 million mark,...
- District attorney asks A.G. to consider...
- Bid farewell to extra warm October —...
- Two killed in high-speed, fiery crash into...
- Stay lifted on adoptions by same-sex parents...
- 3 reasons Utah is a great place for students
- Utahns support bill making clear clergy... 127
- Utahns not as strongly opposed to... 97
- Stay lifted on adoptions by same-sex... 81
- Love not attending Salt Lake City... 61
- GOP senators, congressmen offer support... 45
- 'Meet the Mormons' reaches $4.5 million... 34
- Group meeting in Salt Lake to plan 2015... 34
- Support for statewide nondiscrimination... 19