Texas Supreme Court Rejects Compelled Self-Publication Theory in Defamation Case

The Texas Supreme Court recently rejected the theory holding that an employee’s self-publication of defamatory statements cannot satisfy the publication element of a defamation claim. It further confirmed that there is no independent cause of action for compelled self-publication defamation under Texas law. In Exxon Mobil Corp., et al. v. Rincones, Rinecones contended that he did not use drugs and that there must have been some negligence in the way a failed drug test was handled that led to his termination. Moving forward, plaintiffs claiming defamation will be required to show that a defendant actually published a defamatory statement to a third party to maintain a cause of action.

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