DeRosa v. McKenzieAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the district court dismissing this defamation action, holding that a corporate officer who did not author a defamatory statement but participated in the publication of the statement may be held personally liable for defamation.
Plaintiff brought this action against Defendant, the chief executive officer of Dakota Plains Holdings, Inc., alleging that Defendant authorized, directed, and approved defamatory statements about Plaintiff in a Dakota Plains press release. The district court dismissed the complaint on the pleadings because the complaint did not allege that Defendant made or authored the defamatory statements in the press release. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) if Plaintiff's allegations are true, Defendant may be held personally liable for his participation; and (2) Plaintiff's complaint sufficiently pleaded a defamation claim to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.