This case involves yet another plaintiff who refuses to be deposed. If they don't have a case, they shouldn't file a lawsuit. Some people use the courts to bankrupt and intimidate, not to seek justice. In this case the plaintiff and developer, Stuart Lichter, who refused to be deposed for seven months, and was ordered by the court to do so, suddenly withdrew the case with Prejudice.
KaiserPapers prevailed in 1st Amendment Lawsuit
December 1, 2009
...The Kaiser Permanente Reform Committee [website: The Kaiser Papers] has been in existence for over a decade...In January 2008, KPRC created a section on the Kaiser Papers website known as The Downey section: downey.kaiserpapers.info. Always the advocate for the public, the KPRC began to educate itself on the background and the projects surrounding the property. As with all other advocacy projects, it was KPRC’s intention to educate the public on the background of the Downey Property while also presenting material for the use of medical professionals and attorneys to assist the people that became ill while working on the properties.
Over a year ago, Stuart Lichter, the developer of the property, of IRG/Industrial Realty Group filed a defamation lawsuit against the Kaiser Papers; its owner Vickie Travis; Dina Padilla, a Congressional candidate; and two of the injured parties that became ill while working on the Downey Property.
In this lawsuit, the website, all of the Kaiser Papers, over 20,000 pages worth, was accused of presenting material that offended the developer. It is the KPRC’s belief that all of the parties first amendment rights were violated when the parties were sued and demands were made to eliminate not only the Downey Section but the entire Kaiser Papers advocacy website.
During this time, the Kaiser Papers website was hacked over 15 times and other parties gained access to the Kaiser Papers website illegally and without authorization. The FBI has been involved and is still receiving information as of December 1, 2009. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has been following the case for months. The Kaiser Papers website and all related websites were vandalized with the majority of the illegal alterations taking place one day before the court hearings.
...[On November 13, 2009] the Plaintiff and Developer, Stuart Lichter, who refused to be deposed for seven months and was ordered by the court to do so, suddenly withdrew the case with Prejudice. The lawsuit dismissed With Prejudice indicates that they can never again bring the same accusations in a court of law against any of the involved parties or the Kaiser Papers websites.
Patient safety and consumer advocates have seen an increase in Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) lawsuits. Although the parties involved and the Kaiser Papers website prevailed in fighting against this attempt to violate the parties’ first amendment rights, it was done so at an extreme detriment to all of the parties involved. This victory may be a victory for advocates across the country that may also face a challenge to their civil liberties but it is still a hardship for Leonard Martin. Although Mr. Martin had initially prevailed against this harassing lawsuit, Mr. Lichter filed an appeal against him. Consequently, this injured party, Leonard Martin who is very ill, now has a legal bill to defend his win in court where he had no bill before the appeal was filed.
You may read the court document which is a pdf download at:
http://downey.kaiserpapers.info/pdfs/Padilla Encl Endorsed Request for Dismissal.pdf