Category Archives: Defamation

Man vs. Bank: Who’s Right?

On February 19th, Londell McMillan sued Barclays Bank for a loan default “fabrication”. The British bank had sued former partner of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s entertainment, media, and sports group, just a few months earlier, for a $540,000 loan payment from 2010.

The case began when McMillan joined LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & McRae, right around the time of their merger with Dewey Ballantine, and was told he needed to pay a contribution to the firm’s operations. McMillan claims however that he never took out the loan, as the CEO emailed him two days before the due date saying it was already paid. Barclays declined to comment.

Law Firm Can’t Change its “F” Grade

Kaufman, Englett & Lynd(KEL), a law firm, sued the Central Florida Better Business Bureau (BBB) for false advertising in violation of the Landham act, “disparagement of business”, and breach of contract. BBB’s business revolves around rating law firms, and allegedly gave the law firm disparaging and misleading reviews, an F rating, all the while breaching accreditation agreement with the company. After receiving the grade, many of their clients supposedly left.

Nonetheless on February 20, Judge John Antoon ruled that the misrepresentations are not ads because the BBB and KEL do not compete commercially. Furthermore, it was decided that KEL, though based in Florida, could not claim personal jurisdiction as it neither owns shares nor controls daily operations in the BBB. Nonetheless, Judge Antoon refused to provide supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims, meaning that KEL is free to try again in state court.

Gay Auditor Sues Against Library of Congress

Last August, Peter TerVeer, a talented gay former auditor for the Library of Congress’s Inspector’s General Office, filed suit against his old boss, John Mech, harassed him with religious homophobia and eventually got TerVeer fired.

Though originally close friends, the two grew apart after Mech’s daughter saw TerVeer liking Two Facebook page. After that, the religious lectures began, and TerVeer complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity office and Mech’s supervisor Nicholas Christopher, though to little avail. Mech (with Christopher’s help) allegedly “continued to manufacture a negative paper trail” to downgrade TerVeer’s performance ratings. Advised to take an extended medical leave to deal with stress, he was ultimately fired for missing 37 consecutive work days though the library officials had signed off for disability time off.

The lawsuit claims discrimination based on “sex stereotyping” and violation of Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. Terveer wants his old job, back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for emotional distress, and an order restraining Mech.

Defense Team Fighting Itself

Attorney Joel Brodsky defended Drew Peterson, a convicted murderer, last year along with defense lawyer Steven Greenberg. Now Brodsky is suing Greenberg in a libel case, alleging that Greenberg submitted a “false narrative” to the Chicago Tribune.

It was intended to pay Brodsky back for trying to oust Greenberg from the case, and depicted him as a liar and incompetent. Brodsky was put “in a false light in the public eye,” having his reputation damaged and causing profit losses. Currently Greenberg, lead lawyer on Peterson’s legal team is still trying to overturn his conviction for murdering his new wife and bring him a new trial.

Defamation Case Dismissed

On Monday, a Baltimore County Circuit Court dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Dr. Midei against St. Joseph Medical Center.  He is seeking damages against his former employer, the hospital, over a scandal in which he was accused of performing unnecessary heart stent procedures.  The plaintiff’s attorneys portrayed him as a scapegoat for the hospital’s own turmoil and argued that the case should be allowed to go to trial.

However, St. Joseph’s lawyers contended that the suit was invalid because Midei had signed a release absolving the hospital of responsibility when he resigned in November 2009.  Midei was placed on leave in May 2009 as accusations of unnecessary procedures surfaced.  The hospital warned 600 patients by letter that their stents might have been unneeded and more than 200 have since filed lawsuits against Midei.  As a result of all the publicity, Midei has not been able to get a new job.  He was seeking $60 million for each of four counts in the lawsuit.

Coach Sues Community College over Defamation

Bob Every, a former softball coach at Lansing Community College, is suing the college claiming that they defamed him after firing him last year.  He claims that the college falsely reported to the National Junior College Athletic Associate that he struck a female athlete.  The athlete claims he struck her with a closed fist.

Every claims it is false and has been the worst nightmare of his life.  He worked for the college for almost four decades and now feels his reputation is ruined.  He wants the LCC and the player to retract their statements.  Trial dates have yet to be scheduled.