Koontz v. Jording

The plaintiff alleges that two of her former supervisors at Home Depot defamed her and tortiously interfered with her employment by falsely stating multiple times that the plaintiff was separated from her employment at Home Depot due to her arrest for a felony.

The defamation claim survives as to all named defendants. The plaintiff sufficiently alleges a defamatory, provably untrue statement that was published to colleagues, vendors, friends, and customers with the requisite intent. In addition to the individual defendants, Home Depot could be liable for the defamation under a theory of respondent superior.

However, the plaintiff fails to plausibly allege tortious interference with her employment because she doesn’t identify an interfering third party. She also fails to identify two separate conspirators to support a conspiracy claim, since the supervisors she names were acting within the scope of their employment with the corporate defendant.

Motion to dismiss granted in part and denied in part; motion to strike sur-reply granted.

Koontz v. Jording, No. 3:18cv380, Mar. 25, 2019. EDVA at Richmond (Lauck).

Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Virginia

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: