In a decision released on December 15, the Montana Supreme Court sided in part with fired former University of Montana soccer coach Mark Plakorus.

The filing in part reads:

‘Former University of Montana women’s soccer coach Mark Plakorus appeals the Fourth Judicial District Court’s dismissal of his claims against the University after it refused to renew his contract upon finding alleged private contacts with Las Vegas escort services on Plakorus’s phone records. Plakorus alleges that the University unlawfully disclosed confidential information from his personnel file, defamed him, interfered with his future business prospects, and violated his privacy rights. The District Court dismissed his tort claims, concluding that they all arose from the employment contract and were barred by the one-year statute of limitations for contract claims.

We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.’

The concluding statement written by Justice Beth Baker reads:

‘The District Court erroneously concluded that the duties underlying all of Plakorus’sclaims arose solely under the contract. We agree with the District Court with respect to the claims for invasion of privacy, violation of privacy rights, and negligence, and we thus affirm the District Court’s ruling with respect to those claims. We conclude, however, that Plakorus’s Amended Complaint is sufficient to state tort claims for defamation and intentional interference, and those claims survive the State’s motion to dismiss. We therefore reverse the District Court’s Order in part and remand for further proceedings on the defamation and tortious interference claims.’

‘Tortious interference’ also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, in the common law of torts, occurs when one person intentionally damages someone else's contractual or business relationships with a third party causing economic harm.

Plakorus was fired in February 2018.

A University of Montana official said they could not comment on the court's decision.


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