False Sanction Violation Claim Can't Support Defamation Suit

Law360 (August 1, 2019, 8:32 PM EDT) -- A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled in a published decision on Thursday that letters urging the federal government to investigate a defense contractor could not serve as the basis of defamation claims despite their ultimately incorrect accusations that the company had violated U.S. sanctions on Iran.

A three-judge Superior Court panel agreed that inferences drawn in the pseudonymous letters, which accused Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Co. of violating the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act through its ties to an Iranian shipping company, were protected expressions of opinion even if the accusations were ultimately proven wrong.

“While the author of the...

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