Scheff v. Bock

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: 

12/31/2003

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Florida

Disposition: 

Default Judgment

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

$11,300,000.00
Carey Bock hired Sue Scheff's company, Parents Universal Resource Experts (PURE) which provides referral services for families of teenagers with behavioral problems, to help withdraw her sons from a boarding school in Costa Rica. Scheff put Bock in touch with a consultant,... read full description
Parties

Party Issuing Legal Threat: 

Susan Scheff; Parents Universal Resource Experts

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Carey Bock; Ginger Warbis

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Florida

Location of Party: 

  • Louisiana

Legal Counsel: 

Thomas McGowan, Philip Elberg (Warbis); Alan Kipnis (Bock)
Description

Carey Bock hired Sue Scheff's company, Parents Universal Resource Experts (PURE) which provides referral services for families of teenagers with behavioral problems, to help withdraw her sons from a boarding school in Costa Rica. Scheff put Bock in touch with a consultant, who helped her remove her sons from the school. Unsatisfied with the help she recevieved, Bock posted negative comments about Scheff in a forum for parents with troubled kids called "Fornits.com."

Scheff and PURE sued Bock for defamation in Florida state court on December 31, 2003.  According to filings in the case, Bock made statements accusing Scheff of being a "crook," a "con artist," and a "fraud."

According to USA Today, Bock hired a lawyer, but he left the case when she no longer could afford to pay him. After Bock didn't offer a defense, the court entered a default judgment against her and submitted the issue of damages to the jury. On September 19, 2006, the jury awarded Scheff $11,300,000.

On July 25, 2007, the court upheld the verdict on Bock's motion to set the verdict aside.

The record is unclear, but it appears that Scheff also sued Giner Warbis, the operator of another website critical of Scheff. The court apparently dismissed the claim against Warbis.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Florida

Source of Law: 

  • Florida

Court Name: 

Circuit Court for the 17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

CACE03022837
CMLP Information (Private)

Threat Source: 

MLRC

CMLP Notes: 

To Do: *** This case needs updating *** There is a docket record available in Westlaw, although I had to do a Florida search for "warbis" to turn it up. It also has a "Verdict and Settlement" document, but I can't access it. Also, I am unsure about the lawyers, the docket lists some, which I've gone with, but the linked articles list another.

to-do: need to explore whether there is another related suit. i think there was a whole saga. See in this regard (potentially) - World Wide Ass'n of Specialty Programs v. PURE, Inc, 450 F.3d 1132 (10th Cir. 2006). to-do: further research needed; get court documents