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Defamation Archives

Defamation lawsuit brought against Oprah is moving forward

A judge has refused to dismiss the defamation lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey brought by the headmistress at her girls' school in South Africa.  The suit concerns remarks Winfrey made regarding the sex-abuse scandal there.  Read more here.

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Pet service says former employee used Craigslist, Yelp to defame it

A pet care service company says a former employee used Craigslist and Yelp to post defamatory ads and reviews about it.

Urban Out Sitters says that in August 2009 it hired defendant Christopher Pesch and he signed their Employment Agreement, which contains a non-disparagement clause, but he was terminated shortly thereafter.  The complaint states that Pesch then willfully and maliciously posted defamatory classifieds on Craigslist and reviews on Yelp "insinuating that Plaintiff 'beat and hit dogs' and that Plaintiff's past clients 'had experiences that traumatized their pets'".

The complaint also states that Pesch contacted Urban Out Sitters' clients with the intent to cause them to abandon Urban Out Sitters and that the plaintiff has lost current and prospective clients.

Urban Out Sitters asserts claims for defamation, tortious interference with a prospective business advantage and breach of employment agreement.

Read the complaint after the jump.

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Twitter case dismissed

You heard it here first, thanks to my predecessor Marian Wang.  It was the case where Horizon Group Management sued tenant Amanda Bonnen after Bonnen tweeted something Horizon perceived as defamatory.  

LATEST UPDATE: In case you haven't heard, the case has been dismissed.  Read about it here.

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Hair stylist says former boss told clients she was "crazy"

A hair stylist is suing her former boss for defamation after he allegedly told clients that the stylist had a "nervous breakdown", was "crazy" and "no longer in the business."

Jennifer Kay Albert says that she began working at Pagani Hair Color & Design in Oak Park in 2005 but by 2008, she and her boss, defendant Frank Paganis, had disagreements over "the direction of the salon." 

According to the complaint, Mr. Paganis was unresponsive to Ms. Albert's concerns about high turnover, berated her in front of employees and clients and ignored her attempts to reconcile her earnings with the commission schedule set forth in the employment agreement she signed at the beginning of her employment. 

The complaint states that another employee pushed Albert into a wall when she changed the radio station playing at the salon and Mr. Paganis refused to reprimand the employee.  Mr. Paganis also told Ms. Albert that she was a "monster," "insubordinate," "ungrateful" and "disobedient," and that she would not have been successful "if it wasn't for [him]," the complaint states. 

The complaint further states that Albert then resigned and when she requested her client list, Paganis refused to provide it.  Albert says she later learned from a former client that when the client asked Paganis where Albert was now working, Paganis told her that Albert had a "nervous breakdown," was "crazy" and "was no longer in the business."

Read the complaint after the jump.

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Pet store sues Save a Pet over puppy mill accusations

A pet store with locations in Lincoln Park and Northbrook is suing Save a Pet and individual protesters for defamation, asserting that the defendants were wrong when they stated that the dogs come from puppy mills.


Pawsh Puppies, which describes itself as a "commercial retailer of teacup and toy breed canines," says that its suppliers are commercial canine breeders with operations and facilities regulated by federal law and that defendants made numerous false statements about them, including that their suppliers are puppy mills, that the dogs are shipped in crates and that they do not disclose breeder information to customers.


The complaint also asserts that the defendants staged protests outside each of its stores where they "repeatedly, loudly and aggressively yelled at patrons," and held signs such as "End Puppy Mills Adopt Don't Shop" and "Real Men Adopt." 


The complaint further states that business negotiations to open two new stores were "stalled indefinitely" after defendants contacted the property management company.


Read the complaint after the jump.


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SoAct wants Twitter to identify the users defaming it


A social networking site filed a petition today to get information from Twitter about who is posting defamatory statements about it.

Social Action Network, which describes itself as a company that owns, a social networking site, says that certain anonymous individuals, who go by the moniker bobandscott on Twitter, are posting defamatory statements about it.

Among the defamatory statements, SoAct says the individuals in question have stated that they are engaged in fraud and stock scams.

Now, SoAct wants the court to order Twitter to give them the names of the users, their addresses, phone numbers, all IP addresses, ISP information, credit card information and any other identifying information - all without alerting the users that they are providing such information to SoAct so that the evidence is not compromised.


Read the complaint after the jump.

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Freedom Baptist Church sued for defamation by former member

A drill team director is suing his former church for alleged false and defamatory statements that he inappropriately touched one of the youth.

Charles Coleman was a drill team director at Freedom Baptist Church of the Greater Chicago Area before resigning from the position and joining another church in 2008.  

The following summer, in June of 2009, while Coleman was attending the National Baptist Training Union Conference, he greeted and hugged one of the youth from his old church.  Former friends and parishoners then allegedly confronted Coleman about the incident, stating among other things "The next time you touch one of our kids, we are going to f--k you up."

According to the complaint, Coleman did not know what these comments were based on and at a meeting later that month one of the youth confirmed that the allegations against Coleman were untrue.  The youth also demonstrated the "innocent hug" Coleman gave another youth. 

Coleman is suing for, among other things, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Read the complaint after the jump.

For Tweets of recent legal filings and legal news, follow me on Twitter at jenfernicola.

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Turbulence on Oprah Air: Flight attendant sues

A former flight attendant on Oprah Winfrey's private jet says Gayle King's daughter lied about a fling between the flight attendant and the pilot that got her fired, according to a lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 

The plaintiff Corrine Gehrls alleges that Gayle King's daughter, Kirby Bumpus, and the other flight attendant on the jet, Myron Gooch, told Oprah Winfrey directly that Gerhls and the pilot, Terry Pansing, engaged in "inapproriate intimate conduct" during a June 14, 2009 flight.

Gehrls states in the complaint that no such conduct took place and, furthermore, there is no way anyone could have witnessed such conduct since Winfrey and the other passengers ingested sleeping pills and slept throughout the flight.

Gerhls also claims in the lawsuit that Winfrey favored Gooch and turned a blind eye when Gooch and Gayle King shared the jet's double bed on another flight. 

The complaint points out that Winfrey's only gripe with Gooch was his food ordering skills and that Winfrey allegedly said "[W]hite folks don't know what southern food should taste like." 

According to the complaint, Gerhls and Pansing passed a lie detector test and the results are attached to the complaint as exhibits.

Read the complaint after the jump.

For Tweets of recent legal filings and legal news, follow me on Twitter at jenfernicola.

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Facebook lawsuit: Mom, son say pranksters setup racist, sexual profile

A mother and her teenage son are suing four other minors for setting up a fake Facebook profile of the son with racist and sexual statements.
According to the complaint, the defendants created an account and profile on Facebook using the plaintiff's name, real cell phone number and photographs of the boy.  The complaint states that the defendants made several false and defamatory statements in the fake profile, including the following:
- The section describing "Personal Information" and "About Me" contained the statement "obamas pretty cool...but hes black sooo..."
- Defendants described the plaintiff enjoying and/or engaging in sexual acts.
- Defendants described the plaintiff as being homosexual and engaging in sexual acts with other males.
- Defendants directed disturbing, vulgar and sexual comments to certain girls, which "Given that these girls communicate amongst their friends, the impact on Plaintiff is substantial."
Read the complaint after the jump.
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Woman Sues Employer for Defamatory and Sexually Explicit Comments

A River Forest woman is suing her former employer and supervisor for defamation with respect to statements made about her.

According to the complaint, Mary Bresnahan was employed by Intuitive Surgical as a sales representative and where defendant Chip Bowman was Clinical Sales Director and senior to Bresnahan.

On or about April 2, 2008, the complaint states, Bowman said to Bresnahan's direct supervisor: "Mary Bresnahan participated in gang-bangs at her previous employer and that is the only reason she had success there" and "Mary Bresnahan lacks integrity." 



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