Notable Results HB

Hartline Barger Prevails on Motion for Summary Judgment

Hartline Barger attorneys Brian Rawson, Roy McKay, Holly Naehritz and Stephen Elkind prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.

A privacy and security officer for a state’s employee insurance agency called a hospital in Texas in an effort to locate and speak with the Plaintiff doctor regarding an investigation the officer was conducting.

As a result of this contact with Plaintiff’s employer, Plaintiff alleged she was forced to resign her employment and forego the remainder of her contract with the hospital. Plaintiff filed suit against the privacy and security officer, the state’s employee insurance agency, and the state’s department of administration, asserting claims of defamation and tortious interference with a contract. Hartline Barger filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of the privacy and security officer, arguing that (1) the statute of limitations barred Plaintiff’s claims, (2) the claims against the privacy and security officer in his official capacity were barred by sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution, (3) the claims against the privacy and security officer in his individual capacity were barred by official immunity under Texas law, and (4) the privacy and security officer’s communications were absolutely privileged because they were made in anticipation of judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings. The district court agreed and granted the privacy and security officer’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing all claims against him with prejudice.

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