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Browning v. Clinton

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Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff brought a disparagement of property claim against Defendant for an article that stated no publisher would publish her book.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Special damages are plead with particularity, under Rule 9(g), when the plaintiff specifically names the damages as the natural and direct results of the defendant’s conduct.

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

To be under color of authority, the conduct must be cloaked with official power and the official must purport to be acting under color of official right.

View Full Point of Law
Facts.

Dolly Kyle Browning (Plaintiff) brought eight claims against a variety of defendants regarding a semi-autobiographical novel she wrote detailing her affair with former President Clinton. One claim was against The New Yorker (Defendant) for disparagement of property after Defendant published an article stating that no publisher would touch her book. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss.

Issue.

Did Plaintiff sufficiently plead a claim for relief under Rule 9(g)?

Held.

No, the Plaintiff did not sufficiently plead a claim for relief under Rule 9(g). The Defendant’s motion to dismiss is affirmed.

Discussion.

Here, the Court concludes that the Plaintiff did not meet the requirements of Rule 9(g) because her disparagement of property claim did not allege facts that demonstrated a loss of business resulting directly and naturally from the Defendant’s article.


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