Advanced Armament Corp. v. Garner

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

05/06/2008

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Oregon

Disposition: 

Settled (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Advanced Armament Corp., a Georgia manufacturer of silencers for firearms, sued Ian Hale Garner in Oregon over statements he posted on Internet chat rooms for gun enthusiasts.  Advanced Armament brought suit in federal court in May 2008 seeking damages and injunctive relief... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Ian Hale Garner

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Georgia

Location of Party: 

  • Oregon

Legal Counsel: 

Michael H. McGean - Francis Hansen & Martin LLP
Description

Advanced Armament Corp., a Georgia manufacturer of silencers for firearms, sued Ian Hale Garner in Oregon over statements he posted on Internet chat rooms for gun enthusiasts.  Advanced Armament brought suit in federal court in May 2008 seeking damages and injunctive relief for defamation and interference with contractual relations. In particular, Advanced Armament sought to prevent Garner from "making, stating, or posting any defamatory statements," including but not limited to statements about its "products, designs, customer relationships, business plans and contracts." Compl. ¶ 4.

Garner moved to strike the complaint under Oregon's anti-SLAPP statute, arguing that American Armament's claims arose out of written statements in a public forum concerning issues of public interest.  He argued that the chat rooms were public forums because "[i]n this case, anyone who is interested" in the topic "may in fact register and gain access," analogizing chat rooms to newspapers, magazines, and newsletters. Def.'s Reply Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Strike at 3-4. Garner argued that his statements concerned an issue of public interest because the two chat rooms had "thousands of members each." Id. at 6. He also pointed out American Armament described itself as providing weapons to police departments and the U.S. government, making its activities a matter of public interest. Id. at 5.

American Armament countered that Garner was not speaking in the public interest when he made the statements because he had a relationship with one of its business competitors, which was also financing Garner's defense.  Pl.'s Supp. Brief in Opp. to Def.'s Mot. to Strike at 4.

The case proceeded to discovery before it was dismissed in April 2009 because the parties had reached a settlement.  

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • SLAPP
  • Business Torts
  • User Comments or Submissions
Court Information & Documents
CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

Under review, HCF (10/14/2009)