SW Legal studies in Business

Publication of Material in Litigation Privileged, So No Defamation Suit Possible

Appeals court held that a woman who had an injunction issued against her to stop stalking a baseball personality had no basis for a suit for defamation or invasion of privacy when the information related to the court proceedings were later published in different places.

Topic Torts
Key Words

Defamation; Invasion of Privacy; False Depiction; Media; Privilege

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

Bob Uecker is a former Major League Baseball player and long-time radio announcer of games for the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2006, Uecker petitioned a court in Milwaukee for an injunction against Ann Ladd, alleging a six- or seven-year pattern of harassment. Ladd, who called herself a “devoted fan,” was charged with felony stalking. An injunction was issued against her bothering Uecker and the criminal charge of stalking was dropped when she agreed to cooperate. Later, Ladd filed suit, contending that Uecker defamed her in the material he filed in support of seeking the injunction. She also claimed invasion of privacy for the Brewers’ posting material about the matter on its website. The trial court dismissed her suit. She appealed.


Affirmed. The materials provided by Uecker in support of the injunction and at the hearing are absolutely privileged in the judicial proceeding, even though they were later published on the Internet. An absolute privilege gives complete protection to statements made by a person holding the privilege. Allegations by Ladd, who had tickets to Brewers’ games, that the club took photographs of her in the stands and disseminated her photo and instructed that she be removed from the stadium was not a basis for a claim for invasion of privacy. The events took place in public and regarded matters of public record. They were not used for advertising or other monetary gain purposes.

Citation Ladd vb. Uecker, ---N.W.2d--- (2010 WL 292715, Ct. App., Wisc., 2010)

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