By: Daily Record Staff//May 14, 2015
By: Daily Record Staff//May 14, 2015//
U.S. District Court, WDNY
First Amendment – Prior Restraint
Employee Speech – Matter of Public Concern
Spring v. County of Monroe
Background: The plaintiff alleged that the defendants deprived him of his right to free speech and subjected him to defamation, negligence and legal malpractice. The plaintiff was employed as executive health director of the defendant hospital. An investigation was commenced in regard to his treatment of a patient. During the pendency of the investigation, he alleged that he was barred from speaking about the matter to anyone.
Ruling: The District Court granted the motion to dismiss is part, dismissing the First Amendment Claims and remanded the remaining common law claims to state court. The court noted that the intended speech of the plaintiff was limited to individualized, work-related matters rather than more expansive issues. Therefore, the speech did not touch upon a matter of public concern.
Glenn E. Pezzulo of Culley, Marks, Tanenbaum & Pezzulo; Eugene Welch and Letty L. Laskowski of Harris Chesworth O’Brien Johnstone Welch & Leone, Howard A. Stark of Monroe County Department of Law, and Mark J. Valerio of Moran & Kufta for the defendants