GURTLER v. UNION PARTS MFG. CO.


1 N.Y.2d 5 (1956)

Roman Gurtler, Appellant, v. Union Parts Manufacturing Co., Inc., Respondent.

Court of Appeals of the State of New York.

Decided March 15, 1956.


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

William Canton and Robert Leon Horn for appellant.

Charles H. Tuttle and Thomas A. Shaw, Jr., for respondent.

CONWAY, Ch. J., DESMOND, FULD, FROESSEL, VAN VOORHIS and BURKE, JJ., concur; DYE, J., taking no part.


Per Curiam.

It has long been settled that what is defamatory — that is, actionable without allegation or proof of special damage — when written may be held not actionable per se if spoken. (See Hartmann v. Winchell, 296 N.Y. 296, 298; Kleeberg v. Sipser, 265 N.Y. 87, 91; Moore v. Francis, 121 N.Y. 199, 204; Kinney v. Nash, 3 N.Y. 177, 178; Oakley v. Farrington, 1 Johns. Cas. 129, 130.) Having applicable principles in mind, it is clear that the words attributed to defendant corporation's president are not slanderous per se. Consequently, absent a sufficient allegation of special damage, the complaint fails to state a cause of action and was properly dismissed by the Appellate Division (285 App. Div. 643). However, in view of plaintiff's assertion, made through counsel, that he has suffered special damages, he should be permitted to amend his complaint to include an allegation to that effect. (Civ. Prac. Act, § 584; see Didier v. Macfadden Publications, 299 N.Y. 49, 53; Al Raschid v. News Syndicate Co., 265 N.Y. 1, 5.)

The judgment of the Appellate Division should be affirmed, with leave to plaintiff to serve an amended complaint within twenty days.

Judgment affirmed, etc.


Comment

1000 Characters Remaining

Leagle.com reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

User Comments

Listed below are the cases that are cited in this Featured Case. Click the citation to see the full text of the cited case. Citations are also linked in the body of the Featured Case.

Cited Cases

  • No Cases Found

Listed below are those cases in which this Featured Case is cited. Click on the case name to see the full text of the citing case.

Citing Cases