Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses trial court’s denial of summary judgment to client in precedent setting defamation suit

The plaintiff sued our client for defamation. The suit involved a story posted to our client’s crowd-sourced website by a third party. The plaintiff asked the story be removed from the site. The plaintiff was awarded a large sum of money but had sued the wrong company, but she later amended her pleading to bring our client into the lawsuit.

We moved for summary judgment in our client’s favor based up on the Communications Decency Act, a federal statute we argued granted immunity to our client for lawsuits like this one. The Judge denied our Motion, and the case proceeded to trial. The first trial involving our client ended in a deadlocked jury. The second trial resulted in a large jury verdict against our client, and we appealed the denial of summary judgment to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. That court agreed with us and reversed the trial court’s denial of summary judgment finding the case should have never proceeded to trial and vacated the jury verdict against our client.

This case was watched closely by both media outlets and other crowd-sourced websites, who had a vested interest in how the courts would rule.