The MILO v. MARTIN Decision | Online Defamation Law Suits

Posted by admin | May 1st, 2010

The Ninth District of the Texas Court of Appeals gave a decision yesterday on a case called MILO v. MARTIN. The case has special significance to those in the reputation management industry.

Plaintiffs, Walter Milo and Anthony Shelton, sued Guy Martin, Sandy Martin, Bill Cochran, Jr., and Melvin Douglas (collectively referred to as “The Watchdog”) for actual and punitive damages related to The Watchdog’s alleged publication on its website of several comments that Milo and Shelton contend were defamatory.[ 1 ] The derogatory comments that Milo and Shelton complain about were posted by anonymous[ 2 ] users to a portion of the website titled “Guest Book” during October 2006. After filing its original answer, The Watchdog filed a combined no-evidence and traditional motion for summary judgment. The Watchdog’s no-evidence motion argues that section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 prevents a court from treating The Watchdog as having published the statements placed on its website by third parties.

The court decided in favor of Watchdog, who claimed there was no evidence that they had published the material but rather that anonymous commenters had done so.

Online Defamation - is becoming increasingly common amongst industry competitor’s. Many organizations are using firms like Reputation Hawk to clean up and secure their search results before the unwanted publicity impacts their bottom line.

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