The Estate of Richard A. Mayer and Spangler, Jennings & Dougherty, P.C., v. Lax, Inc., and David Lasco - 5/28/13

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Tuesday  May 28, 2013 
1:30 PM  EST

1:30 p.m. 37A03-1207-PL-323. Lax, Inc. and David Lasco sued attorney Richard Mayer and his firm, Spangler, Jennings & Dougherty, P.C. (“SJD”), for defamation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, tortious interference with a business relationship, and tortious interference with a contract, based on written statements made by Mayer in previous litigation; Lax and Lasco also sought punitive damages.  After the lawsuit was initiated, Mayer died.  Mayer’s estate and SJD subsequently moved for summary judgment.  The trial court granted summary judgment to Mayer’s estate on the defamation and malicious prosecution claims but allowed those claims to proceed against SJD.  It also allowed the abuse of process and tortious interference claims to proceed against the estate and SJD and allowed Lax and Lasco to continue seeking punitive damages.  On appeal, SJD claims the malicious prosecution and defamation claims cannot proceed against it because of Mayer’s death.  Both the estate and SJD also contend that the statements made by Mayer in the previous litigation were absolutely privileged, that there are no issues of material fact and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the abuse of process and tortious interference claims, and that Lax and Lasco cannot recover punitive damages on any claims.

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