Chasewood Const. Co. v. Rico

In Chasewood Const. Co. v. Rico, 696 S.W.2d 439 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.), the court found that a defamatory allegation of theft made by the general contractor, Chasewood, against, Rico, a sub-contractor, was actionable even though Chasewood did not publish the defamatory allegations. The allegations were published by Rico, when he explained to his employees why Chasewood had evicted them from the job site. The court held there was evidence that Chasewood should have known that it was substantially certain its defamatory allegations against Rico would be communicated by him to third parties. See Rico, 696 S.W.2d at 447. The court noted that the second restatement of torts provided for self publication of defamatory statements and negligent communications. See id. at 445; RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS 577 (1977). In discussing comment k, the court noted "there is an intent to publish defamatory matter when the actor does an act for the purpose of communicating it to a third person or with knowledge that it is substantially certain to be so communicated . . . if a reasonable person would recognize that an act creates an unreasonable risk that the defamatory matter will be communicate to a third person, the conduct becomes a negligent communication." See Rico, 696 S.W.2d at 441.