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Appeals Court Tosses Katso Magazine Claim

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A California appeals court has thrown out a company's defamation lawsuit against a former employee, a Finnish publication called Katso Magazine and publisher A-Lehdet over remarks the ex-worker made about Nygard Inc. in a published interview.

In the June 2005 interview, defendant Timo Uusi-Kerttula claimed that he endured "pestering/taunting round the clock" while working for Nygard and had to "slave/drudge almost without a break the whole time." The article also quoted him as saying that his boss "keeps an eye on his workers like a hawk" and "didn't want to let his employees to even go and see a doctor" when injured.

The company filed a lawsuit accusing Timo, the magazine and its publisher of breaching Timo's employment contract, and publishing false and disparaging statements that exposed Nygard to "hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy."

Defendants successfully filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the complaint, claiming the article "concerned public figures and addressed issues of public interest."

The appeal court affirms, saying the public news value of the article protects it from Nygard's lawsuit.

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