Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oregon doctor who was required to have chaperone sues for defamation

Darm v. Craig
October 12th, 2011

In July 2011, medical spa doctor Jerrold "Jerry" Darm sued blogger Tiffany Craig for defamation in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon. Darm alleged that Craig defamed him when she wrote about a 2001 disciplinary order against the doctor from the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners.

Craig wrote on June 30, 2011, on her blog that Darm was reprimanded for demanding sex from a patient, and that Darm was required to have a chaperone when examining adult female patients. The order in fact states that Darm touched and kissed the patient, from which the patient inferred Darm was seeking sex. The order did require the presence of a chaperone for Darm's treatment of adult female patients. Craig did not mention that the order against Darm was lifted in 2009.

According to, Craig moved in August to dismiss Darm's lawsuit under Oregon's anti-SLAPP laws. Craig argued that "'the gist' of the blog entry is true and the statements, in context with a provided hyperlink to state medical board records, were opinions based on those facts." Craig also argued that Darm, as a prominent local doctor, is a public figure. Darm argued that because he never treated Craig, his record is not a matter of public interest. also reports that the court ruled in September that the case is a matter of public interest, and that Twitter is a public forum. A hearing is set for Oct. 20, when Darm will have to present a viable defamation claim.

Related Links:
Oregon's first Twitter libel lawsuit pits Tigard doctor against Portland blogger

Website(s) Involved:
Criminally Vulgar (blog)

Legal Counsel:
Thomas McDermott
Linda Williams

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