AccuBanc v. Drummonds

In AccuBanc v. Drummonds, 938 S.W.2d 135 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1996, no writ), Drummonds, President of AccuBank, was fired by the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) after it took control of AccuBanc. The letter of termination listed five important decisions Drummonds made without the RTC's knowledge or consent. AccuBanc never discussed the letter or the reasons for the termination with anyone but Drummonds. Drummonds, however, contended he published the content of the termination letter while seeking employment. The court found the evidence showed that while Drummonds did discuss his discharge with prospective employers, he never told prospective employers the defamatory matters contained in AccuBanc's termination letter. See AccuBanc, 938 S.W.2d at 149. Although the AccuBanc court was not required to address the question of what constitutes self publication, the court in dictum stated for there to be a cause of action based on self publication, the plaintiff must show not only that the person who defamed them should have foreseen that the plaintiff would be required to publish the defamatory statements, but also the plaintiff must show that they were unaware of the defamatory nature of the statements. See id.