Dismissal of $10 million tortious interference and defamation case against attorney.
Marshall Dennehey successfully argued pre-trial motions to dismiss in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County in a matter involving a $10 million tortious interference and defamation case filed on behalf of investors against an attorney and bank counsel arising out of a multi-million dollar loan for a commercial land transaction. The allegations against the attorney included slander and a claim for tortious interference, with prospective economic advantage for a contract that the plaintiff entered into with the investor. With regard to slander, we argued that the established case law in New Jersey holds that the subject pejorative was simply name calling and did not rise to the level of actionable defamation or slander in New Jersey. The court agreed and dismissed the defamation claims. Additionally, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s tortious interference claim, rejected the plaintiff’s claims of willful misconduct of the bank’s attorney and found that the plaintiff’s damages claims, although supported by expert reports, were speculative. The court agreed with the defense argument that the plaintiff’s claims for lost profits were barred by New Jersey’s New Business Rule. Under the New Business Rule, prospective profits of a new business are considered too remote and speculative to meet the legal standard to recover damages. As a result, the court entered a dismissal of the entire case.