The U.S. District Court in Salt Lake has dismissed a lawsuit by a Layton company that accused Bloomberg LP of libeling the company in two stories last summer.

Judge Dale A. Kimball ruled that statements about Computerized Thermal Imaging in the stories last summer were not libelous per se and did not meet the special-damages requirements to meet another level of libel.

CTI had sought a judgment of more than $100 million, claiming that statements made in the stories led to that degree of loss in the company's market capitalization.

The stories, written by reporter David Evans and electronically published by news service Bloomberg News, contained information about the company's stock sale.

CTI claimed statements in the articles were libelous per se, maintaining that Evans intentionally made factual statements that he either knew to be false or recklessly disregarded whether such factual implications were true.

But the court disagreed. "It is clear in this case that the alleged libelous statements do not constitute libel per se," Kimball ruled.

The judge did conclude that "at least some of the statements could be considered defamatory by reasonable people," and he did not agree with Bloomberg's motion to dismiss the case on that basis. But he did find that CTI failed to prove it suffered special damages, necessary for a finding of libel per quod.

"The alleged special damages in this case are only conjecture and do not result in the realized and liquidated losses required under Utah law," Kimball ruled.

CTI filed the complaint last August, claiming the stories contained false, misleading and defamatory statements regarding the company's business and its thermal imaging technology. CTI is developing that technology as an adjunct imaging tool to mammography in the detection of breast cancer and to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.


E-mail: bwallace@desnews.com