In Nygard, Inc. v. Uusi-Kertulla, a former employee published disparaging comments about his former company and its president (e.g., he had to "slave/drudge almost without a break the whole time;" the president "keeps an eye on his workers like a hawk;" etc.) in a magazine. Nygard brought defamation and breach of contract claims against the former employee based on the comments. The former employee sought to dismiss the action based upon California's Anti-SLAPP statute, which allows a defendant to seek dismissal of a lawsuit arising from a person's exercise of free speech in connection with a public issue. In affirming the dismissal of the lawsuit, a California appellate court construed the Anti-SLAPP statute broadly. The court determined that a magazine qualified as a "public forum" because it was accessible to the public, and the former employee's comments were of "public interest" because the company's president was of interest to the Finnish community.
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Employer's claims against former employee for disparaging public comments dismissed pursuant to Anti-SLAPP statute
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