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Fisher v. ASI Federal Credit Union

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

June 29, 2017

LORRIE L. FISHER
v.
ASI FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

         ON APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY REVIEW FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 731-802, DIVISION "G" HONORABLE E. ADRIAN ADAMS, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT, LORRIE L. FISHER Anthony L. Glorioso.

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RELATOR, ASI FEDERAL CREDIT UNION Paula M. Wellons, Stephen T. Perkins.

          Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Fredericka Homberg Wicker, and Jude G. Gravois

         WRIT GRANTED; JUDGMENT VACATED; SUMMARY JUDGMENT GRANTED; DISMISSED

         SMC

         FHW

         JGG

          SUSAN M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE.

         In this writ application, relator, ASI Federal Credit Union (hereinafter "ASI"), seeks review of the denial of its motion for summary judgment with respect to Lorrie Fisher's defamation claim against ASI. For the following reasons, we grant defendant's writ application, vacate that ruling, grant summary judgment in favor of ASI, and dismiss this matter.

         Facts and Procedural History

         In her petition filed on October 9, 2013, Lorrie Fisher sued ASI for defamation for written statements that ASI made to the Louisiana Workforce Commission when Fisher sought unemployment benefits after her termination from ASI. Specifically, ASI's notice of termination stated its reasons for Ms. Fisher's termination as: "poor work performance; refuses to take responsibility for actions; not receptive to feedback to improve; did not show any improvement in past two evaluations."

         On December 30, 2016, ASI moved for summary judgment "based on the truth of the statements challenged by plaintiff, the conditional or qualified privilege that attached to those statements, and the lack of any cognizable damages allegedly caused by those statements." To its motion for summary judgment, ASI attached copies of Ms. Fisher's performance reviews and deposition excerpts from Ms. Fisher's supervisors stating that the statement in its notice of termination was accurate regarding Ms. Fisher's job performance. Further, ASI attached deposition excerpts in which Ms. Fisher acknowledged that she is currently employed and that she does not know of any specific job that declined to hire her because of her termination from ASI.

         On April 24, 2017, the trial judge heard argument on ASI's motion for summary judgment. On April 28, 2017, the trial judge denied summary ...


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