Keith Goodridge Construction v. WYBS, Inc.

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: 

08/18/2008

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Oregon

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
In August 2008, Keith Goodridge sued WYBS, Inc., owner of the site www.merchantcircle.com, and a John Doe using the screen name "Attorney" over allegedly defamatory comments posted to the site.  According to the complaint, a posting from June 4, 2008... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

WYBS, Inc., d/b/a/ Merchantcircle; John Doe; Susan and Anthony Gatchell

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Location of Party: 

  • Oregon

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Oregon
  • Delaware

Legal Counsel: 

Bruce L. Campbell, Elisa J. Dozono - Miller Nash LLP (for Defendant WYBS, Inc.)
Description

In August 2008, Keith Goodridge sued WYBS, Inc., owner of the site www.merchantcircle.com, and a John Doe using the screen name "Attorney" over allegedly defamatory comments posted to the site.  According to the complaint, a posting from June 4, 2008 falsely claimed that an outdoor arena Keith Goodridge Construction (KGC) had built collapsed, killing a teenager. 

WYBS removed the case to federal court and filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that it was immune from liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act ("Section 230"). In February 2009, Goodridge amended his complaint to add factual allegations regarding a second allegedly defamatory posting on merchantcircle.com, from November 21, 2008.  He also attempted to plead around Section 23 by claiming that WYBS itself republished both allegedly defamatory statements in multiple locations on its site.  Susan and Anthony Gatchell were added as defendants in lieu of the John Doe "Attorney."

WYBS filed a motion to dismiss this amended complaint, claiming that the reposting alleged by Goodridge did not appear on WYBS's site, but rather on completely independent third-party sites, such as Craigslist.org.  It also reasserted its claim of immunity under Section 230.

On February 24, 2009, Goodridge filed a motion to remand to state court, claiming that the addition of  Susan and Anthony Gatchell — both residents of Oregon like Goodridge — eliminated federal jurisdiction. In June 2009, a magistrate judge issued his recommendation that the case be remanded to state court and that Goodridge be allowed to file a second amended complaint. 

On July 14, 2009, the federal district court adopted the findings and recommendation of the magistrate and remanded the case to the Linn County Circuit Court.

Update:

May 12, 2010 -  A reader submitted the following update via email: "The Linn County Court granted an anti-SLAPP motion in favor of WYBS against Plaintiffs in the amount of $22,242, on the ground that there was no objectively reasonable basis for the claim." 

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Third-Party Content
  • Section 230
  • Anonymity
  • Consumer Ratings and Reviews
  • User Comments or Submissions
Court Information & Documents
CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

07/23/2009 - LB editing

docket on WL  6:08CV06313