Nevyas v. Morgan II (Federal Lawsuit)

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: 

01/29/2004

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Pennsylvania

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
The plaintiffs, Drs. Nevyas and Nevyas-Wallace and Nevyas Eye Associates, brought suit in federal court in 2004 for damages and injunctive relief for violations of the Lanham Act, defamation, and breach of contract for statements about their LASIK eye surgery practice posted... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Dominic J. Morgan; Steven A. Friedman

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Pennsylvania

Location of Party: 

  • Pennsylvania

Legal Counsel: 

F. Michael Friedman (for Morgan); Jeffrey B. Albert (for Friedman)
Description

The plaintiffs, Drs. Nevyas and Nevyas-Wallace and Nevyas Eye Associates, brought suit in federal court in 2004 for damages and injunctive relief for violations of the Lanham Act, defamation, and breach of contract for statements about their LASIK eye surgery practice posted by a former patient on a website.

Dr. Nevyas-Wallace performed elective LASIK eye surgery on the defendant Dominic Morgan in 1998. Displeased with the results, Morgan created a website that "intentionally and maliciously defamed Dr. Nevyas and Dr. Nevyas-Wallace" at that time or soon after, according to the complaint. (Compl. ¶ 18).

The federal Lanham Act claim was based on what the plaintiffs claimed were false or misleading statements posted on defendant's website. (Compl. ¶ 88). They also sued Steven Friedman, an attorney who represented Morgan in previous cases, for allegedly writing defamatory letters to the FDA which were later posted on the complained-of website. (Compl. ¶¶ 60-67). The plaintiffs argued that these statements were "material to the purchasing decisions" and "intended to deceive potential and current patients." (Compl. ¶¶ 89-90).

The federal district court dismissed the Lanham Act claim because the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring a false advertising claim and because Morgan's statements did not qualify as "commercial advertising or promotion." After the court dismissed the federal claim, it declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims of defamation and breach of contract. Nevyas v. Morgan, 309 F. Supp.2d 673, 680 (E.D. Pa. 2004).

Related case in state court: Nevyas v. Morgan (state lawsuit)

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Gripe Sites
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Pennsylvania

Source of Law: 

  • United States
  • Pennsylvania

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Court Type: 

Federal

Case Number: 

2:04-CV-00421

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

309 F.Supp.2d 673

Review by HF 10/2/2009