Jacobs v. AdelsonAnnotate this Case
Steve Jacobs filed a wrongful termination complaint against Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVSC) and Sands China Ltd. after he was fired as chief executive officer of the Sands China unit. Jacobs made several allegations in the complaint against Sheldon Adelson, the chief executive officer and majority shareholder of LVSC, personally. The case received widespread media attention, and after the Wall Street Journal published Adelson’s response to the allegations, Jacobs amended his complaint to add a claim for defamation per se against Adelson. The district court dismissed the defamation claim, determining that Adelson’s statements to the media were absolutely privileged communications relating to litigation. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that communications made to the media in an extrajudicial setting are not absolutely privileged when the media holds no more significant interest in the litigation than the general public.