FORBA v. Hagan

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: 

11/14/2008

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Kentucky

Disposition: 

Injunction Issued
Withdrawn

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
FORBA Holdings, a dental practice management company, sued blogger Debbie Hagan after she posted internal FORBA documents on her blog, Dentist the Menace, which covers alleged misconduct in the dental profession. According to the complaint, Google search crawlers indexed a... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Debbie Hagan

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Tennessee
  • Delaware

Location of Party: 

  • Kentucky

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se
Description

FORBA Holdings, a dental practice management company, sued blogger Debbie Hagan after she posted internal FORBA documents on her blog, Dentist the Menace, which covers alleged misconduct in the dental profession.

According to the complaint, Google search crawlers indexed a password-protected FTP site hosting FORBA internal documents, and Hagan was able to obtain copies of these documents through a Google search for the term "forbainfo.com." The documents in question included marketing materials, recruitment strategy information, spreadsheets and facility information lists, as well as internal PowerPoint presentations. Hagan allegedly provided links to certain of the FORBA documents and posted copies of others for viewing and download.  FORBA contended that, by posting these materials, Hagan misappropriated trade secrets embodied in the confidential documents and infringed its copyrights in the PowerPoint presentations.  

FORBA also alleged that Hagan defamed the company on her blog by falsely claiming that FORBA engaged in "barbaric back alley dentistry and abusing children children in the process."

After filing suit, FORBA moved for a preliminary injunction barring Hagan from publishing its confidential and copyright-protected materials.  In November 2008, Hagan consented to the entry of a permanent injunction prohibiting her from publishing or posting "any internal and/or copyrighted documents or other information of FORBA obtained, directly or indirectly, through access to the FORBA FTP Site . . . and/or . . . any other internal and/or confidential FORBA documents or information. . . ."

FORBA subsequently dismissed its defamation claim voluntarily, and later moved to voluntarily dismiss the entire case without prejudice, leaving the consent injunction in n full force and effect. The court granted the motion in April 2009, dismissing the case and leaving the consent injunction in place. 

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Subject Area: 

  • Copyright
  • Defamation
  • Trade Secrets
  • Prior Restraints
  • Gripe Sites
Court Information & Documents
CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

2-Normal

Threat Source: 

User Feedback

CMLP Notes: 

Via Marc Randazza