The Nethercutt Collection v. Regalia, 172 Cal. App. 4th 361 (2009)

Michael Regalia sued The Nethercutt Collection for wrongful termination and slander after he was terminated as its president. The jury rejected the wrongful termination claim, but awarded Regalia $750,000 in damages for “assumed harm” to his reputation arising from two statements attributable to the employer: (1) that Regalia had demanded a commission or finder’s fee of about $230,000 to which he was not entitled and (2) that Regalia was fired because other employees would not work for him and/or would leave if he remained employed. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment on the ground that because Regalia had not proved slander per se (i.e., statements that would injure him in respect to his office, profession, trade or business, etc.) he was required but had failed to prove actual damages.