Deutsch, Levy & Engel, Chartered

DLE litigation partners, Phillip J. Zisook and Brian D. Saucier successfully defended a Chicago not-for-profit corporation, the Chicago Crime Commission, against claims of defamation and negligent infliction of emotional distress arising from the "2012 Chicago Crime Commission Gang Book." The Gang Book is a resource for law enforcement and education, which discusses Chicago area street gangs and disclosed their various gang signals, logos, the geographic area in which the gangs operate, and the principal unlawful activities of each gang. The Gang Book also identified leaders of the various gangs. In defending the Commission, we demonstrated that the statement that one was a "gang leader," without any facts showing the subject's involvement in any particular crime, did not fall into a category of defamation per se, which requires a false statement of one's commission of a crime. In addition, the statement that one was a gang "leader" could not serve as a basis for a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress because no physical impact accompanied the statement (a necessary element for a "direct victim" alleging negligent infliction of emotional distress) and because the tort, as a matter of law, is not available to persons claiming that their injuries were caused by a defamatory statement. For more information, please contact Phil Zisook or Brian Saucier.