Preston v. O'Rourke

In Preston v. O'Rourke, 74 Conn. App. 301, 811 A.2d 753 (2002), the plaintiff, a former prosecutor, brought an action against the defendant to recover damages for, inter alia, intentional infliction of emotional distress and libel and slander after the plaintiff's employment was terminated based on his alleged behavior toward the defendant. The Connecticut Court of Appeals stated: "In Connecticut, parties to or witnesses before judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings are entitled to absolute immunity for the content of statements made therein." ". . . The policy underlying the privilege is that in certain situations the public interest in having people speak freely outweighs the risk that individuals will occasionally abuse the privilege by making false and malicious statements." Id. at 311, 811 A.2d at 760-61. The court went on to state that the "'absolute privilege itself is not confined to the testimony of a witness but extends to any statement made in the course of a judicial proceeding, whether or not given under oath, so long as it is pertinent to the controversy. . . .'" Id. at 311-12, 811 A.2d at 761. The court found that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant and dismissing the plaintiff's suit for intentional infliction of emotional distress.