IADC member, James B. Hood, a Partner at Hood Law Firm, LLC, obtained a defense verdict for a prominent plaintiff’s trial attorney following a five day defamation trial in Charleston County, South Carolina.
The Plaintiff alleged that Defendant’s remarks, published in a local newspaper, were defamatory and caused the Plaintiff’s business to collapse. The Defendant had previously filed a RICO class action lawsuit against Plaintiff’s temporary staffing business on behalf of several migrant employees. The Defendant was contacted by a newspaper reporter to discuss the RICO lawsuit, and the Defendant’s remarks were subsequently published.
The Defense maintained that the remarks were substantially true and that they were covered by a qualified privilege given the public nature of the RICO suit and the manner in which the business operated. The defense verdict came after a default judgment had been entered and a separate jury had awarded in excess of $7 million on these claims in 2008. At the South Carolina Supreme Court, the Hood Law Firm was successful in reversing that award and setting aside the default, and ultimately the case was tried on its merits.