Friday, October 13, 2006

New internet defamation case

A woman in Florida has won $11.3 million USD (¢6 billion Costa Rican colones) in an online defamation case. Sue Scheff has a company called Parents Universal Resource Experts, which provides assistance to troubled teenagers. Scheff filed a defamation lawsuit in her State against a Louisiana woman who posted a message in an Internet message board for parents of troubled teens. Bock accused Scheff and her company of being "con artists", "crooks" and "frauds" who "exploited families" and placed them in "risky" and "possibly abusive" programs.

It seems like Bock presented no defence, so the punitive damages may be illusory. Should you care what you write on message boards? I doubt it, this seems to be an exceptional case. However, be careful next time you start a flame war, or decide to go trolling on a board.


E-legal Lawyer said...

This just goes to show you that just because you think you have the right to free speach, does not give you a liability shild against defaming another person on your web site.

Amy said...

People should be prepared to take responsibility for what they say, whether online or offline.