On June 4, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia sided with The Krudys Law Firm’s arguments that its client Laura Pendleton had properly pled a defamation by inference, implication or insinuation action. The Supreme Court’s summary of its decision follows:
In a defamation action, the circuit court erred in sustaining a demurrer and dismissing the complaint without leave to amend. Whether a claim for defamation by inference, implication or insinuation, defamation actions may proceed in Virginia only upon statements which may actually defame a plaintiff, and in this case it is clear that any innuendo proceeding from the defendants’ statements about the death of a child was aimed directly at the mother and at no other person. The statements were published, and were capable of conveying the defamatory innuendo that the plaintiff bore responsibility for her child’s death. Assuming the truth of all the facts properly pled, and giving her the benefit of all facts implied and fairly and justly inferred from them, in the context set forth in the complaint the words ascribed to the defendants, given their plain meaning, are reasonably capable of conveying the defamatory innuendo of which the plaintiff complains. Because the circuit court erred in sustaining the demurrer, the judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.