The Nevada Supreme Court has reversed the dismissal of a defamation claim filed by former Sands China Ltd chief executive Steven Jacobs against parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp chairman Sheldon Adelson (pictured).
The claim was included in 2011 in the lawsuit filed in 2010 in a Nevada court by Mr Jacobs, in which he alleges he was wrongfully fired from Sands China.
Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez had dismissed the defamation claim in June 2011, considering that Mr Adelson was protected by the litigation privilege when he told the Wall Street Journal in March 2011 that Mr Jacobs allegations included in the wrongful termination lawsuit were “outright lies and fabrications which seem to have their origins in delusion”.
The Nevada Supreme Court decided on Friday to reverse the dismissal of the defamation claim, after hearing the case in October 2013. But it was a split 4-3 decision, according to media reports.
The Supreme Court considered that statements to the media in an extrajudicial setting are generally not protected by the litigation privilege.
The lawsuit has been sent back to District Court for further proceedings.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau