“Important Industry News Alert” = Defamation?

slapp graphicSecurus sued GTL for defamation and business disparagement, alleging that two “Important Industry News Alert” emails from GTL misrepresented the status of certain patents. The Fifth Court reversed the denial of GTL’s anti-SLAPP motion, finding that Securus failed to show that the “commercial speech” exception to the statute applied, and that substance of the emails was either opinion, or too general to have led a reasonable person to confldue that they addressed “any particular facility or recipient.” As to the commercial speech exception, the Court expressly declined to follow a “four prong” test followed by Houston’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Newspaper Holdings, Inc. v. Crazy Hotel Assisted Living, Ltd., 416 S.W.3d 71 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.[ 2013, pet. denied), concluding that this test over-relied on a statute unique to California. Global Tel*Link v. Securus Corp.. Securus Corp., No. 05-16-01224-CV (July 31, 2017) (mem. op.)

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