Biz To Blogger: Since You Mocked Me, I Will Sue Thee?
Another week, another post and another blogger is being sued by the head of a corporate company. The president of Steelback Brewery, Frank D’Angelo has launched a $2 million lawsuit (in Canadian bills) after he claims a blogger posted false statements about him on his site.
(Fort Francis Times Online) In his statement of claim, D’Angelo argues that Sager’s comments—which described D’Angelo as a “huckster” and a “two-bit shyster”—are derogatory in that they paint a picture of him as a “peddler,” a “con man,” and an “irritant.”
The claim also says Sager called D’Angelo a “professional nuisance” and described his interest in acquiring the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins franchise as a “charade.”
Sager, who was shocked at the lawsuit, was hoping to settle this issue out of court. Unfortunately it looks as if he may have to prepare to defend his comments in front of the “robed masters in black.”
(Out Of Left Field) Since it’s now on the public record, I have to say my position is any libel issues pertaining to Out of Left Field and Frank D’Angelo were adequately addressed several weeks ago. It’s regrettable it’s come to this point, but the choice is to fight for what’s right, namely the right to free speech as it relates to the written word on the web. I’m confident that there’s a way reasonable people can work this out, and I am a reasonable person.
If anyone is interested in offering legal advice, help or good old-fashioned moral support, you know where to find me.See Also
Whoever came up with the phrase, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words may never hurt me” may be wanting to rephrase that sentence, as court cases (especially lawyers) can often hurt one in the wallet.
Since no official Blog ACLU exists online, Sager may want to consider putting up a “tip jar” in order to help offset his legal expenses, or (even better) find a good lawyer who will defend him for free.
Are there any legal bloggers (or blawgers as they are called) willing to look into this case?
Darnell Clayton is a geek who discovered blogging long before he heard of the word "blog" (he called them "web journals" then). When he is not tweeting, friendfeeding, or blogging about space, he enjoys running, reading and describing himself in third person.
Regardless of whether or not something derogatory was actually said, how the hell do they come up with $2 million? Do lawyers cost that much now? Good grief, I should sue McDonald’s for $2 million for giving me a crooked cheeseburger.
Hopefully the blogger wins, I wish them the best of luck.
Regardless of what you might think, be very careful about implicating a business persons integrity.
There is a fine line between criticism and derogatory comments. Calling any businessman a “huckster” or a “two-bit shyster” crosses that line.
I do not think the press or bloggers should be able to hide behind constitutional protection when it comes to defamatory comments.
If my opinion is that someone is a huckster or a two-bit shyster, I should be able to voice that opinion. I’m not defaming because I’m not making incorrect statements. Defamation and slander are both handled very differently in Canadian and US courts, keep in mind.
If he were to say “Mr. So-and-so is a liar and doesn’t have the capital to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins because his business is a piece of crap, and he’s even worse. He screws his clients all the time… bla bla bla…,” then that would be defamation.
It does not matter whether it is the truth or not… a statement can be defamatory even if it is true.
You can express your opinion you just do not have the right to defame someone.
Wikipedia states “In law, defamation is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government or nation.”
You nailed it
If it’s true, it’s Not defamation.
“If it’s true, it’s Not defamation.”
But is it actually true?