Defamation Lawyer Disclaimer
The facts are unproven allegations of the Plaintiff and all commentary is based upon the allegations, the truthfulness and accuracy of which are likely in dispute.
LINDA P. SCHACHT v. BRUCE CARUTHERS and BROOKE YOOLE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE (NASHVILLE)
The bottom line is that you have to maintain possession and control of your domain names and websites. There is no reason for a web developer to have administrative access and control of your domain names. If the Plaintiff had an off premises back-up of the site’s content then the domain name, if under her control, could have been pointed to a new website and this problem would have been nipped in the bud.
The Plaintiff is the elderly widow of world renowned artist Mike Schacht and has previously held high profile positions in politics and publishing. The Defendant is a web developer and got into a dispute with the Plaintiff. When the Plaintiff allegedly failed to make a payment the web developer removed the content from one of the websites and reported that it had been “shut down for non-payment”.
Schacht alleges cybersquatting, violation of statutory right to publicity, breach of Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, libel, false light invasion of privacy, outrageous conduct, fraud, conversion/embezzlement, and intentional interference with existing and prospective business relationships. The prayer for relief requests an award of temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunctive relief, exemplary damages, punitive damages, treble damages, statutory damages, transfer of the infringing domain names, and such further relief the court deems appropriate. Traverse Internet Law Cross Reference Number 1510.
HARSCO CORPORATION v. NOVETAS SOLUTIONS, LLC
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA (HARRISBURG)
Make sure that you have Google alerts set up so you will know whenever your product is being mentioned online.
The Plaintiff and Defendant are both in the business of manufacturing and selling glass abrasives used for blast cleaning and preparation of surfaces. The Defendant is alleged to be carrying out an advertising campaign which includes false and misleading claims placing into question the safety of the Plaintiff’s products under EPA guidelines.
The Defendant is accused of unfair competition, false advertising, product disparagement, tortious interference with contract, and interference with prospective business relationships. The Plaintiff requests preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, an accounting of profits, actual damages, corrective advertising, deactivation of all Defendant websites, and an award of attorneys’ fees and costs. Traverse Internet Law Cross Reference Number 1511.
ARDIS HEALTH, LLC, ET AL. v. ASHLEIGH NANKIVELL
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK (FOLEY SQUARE)
Former employees can launch very bad attacks, and sometimes with impunity, against your business. Be very careful when discharging employees. It is always preferable to have a signed agreement with a severance package or a confidentiality and non-disparagement provision in an employment contract.
Plaintiffs are a group of closely affiliated online marketing companies that develop and market a variety of herbal products online. Defendant is a former employee and she claimed on Facebook that the Plaintiff was “raping” customers with “fake diet patches”.
The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, breach of contract, conversion/civil theft, breach of duty of loyalty, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and defamation. The Plaintiff requests the court award extensive permanent injunctive relief as well as actual damages, compensatory damages, and costs and attorneys’ fees. Traverse Internet Law Cross Reference Number 1512.
COSMETIC WARRIORS LIMITED v. ADVANCED DERMATOLOGY CARE: MEDICAL, COSMETIC, AND SURGERY, P.A., ET AL.
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
This is an interesting twist on defamation. If you use a competitor’s name, and the public criticizes you, but it appears to be criticism of your competitor, then according to this lawsuit you are liable for defamation. It will be interesting to see how this case pans out.
The Plaintiff is a premiere supplier of cosmetic, bath, and beauty products. The Defendants are a competitor. The Defendants launched a product with a very similar name to the Plaintiff’s product and numerous reviews appeared online criticizing the Defendants’ product. Unfortunately, the public perceived the criticism of the Defendants’ product as that of the Plaintiff’s product.
The Plaintiff alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, and false advertising. The lawsuit includes requests for permanent injunctive relief, actual damages, an accounting of profits, statutory damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees with interest. Traverse Internet Law Cross Reference Number 1513.
FUSION ENERGY, LLC and WILLIAM SCOTT COURT v. BREITLING OIL AND GAS COMPANY and CHRISTOPHER FAULKNER
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS (DALLAS)
Obviously the Defendants are competitors of the Plaintiffs and this is the type of defamation, if true, that is not only damaging to the Plaintiffs but also rewarding to the Defendants. At least until the lawsuit comes.
Fusion Energy is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company. The Defendants are alleged to have begun a smear campaign to deceive potential customers, disparage the Plaintiffs’ business and gain an unfair competitive advantage. The Defendants are alleged to have acquired domain names that include the Plaintiffs’ names, launched websites and blogs that contained extensive defamatory, false and malicious information, including claims that Fusion Energy is ripping off the public and is operated by criminals and frauds.
The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, false designation of origin, cybersquatting, unfair competition, business disparagement, and injury to trademark and trade name. Relief requested includes preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, transfer of the infringing domain names, statutory damages, actual damages, consequential damages, compensatory damages, exemplary damages, enhanced damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Traverse Internet Law Cross Reference Number 1514.