Lawyer Juan Carlos Noriega was apparently a bit surprised by an August 2 article that appeared on Huffington Post. The biggest surprise is that he was listed as the author. The lawyer from Panama is suing Huffington Post, which he claims not only ran the article under his name but then failed to respond to his efforts to have his name removed. He says that the article criticizing the federal government has jeopardized his relationship with the Department of Homeland Security and is suing for $3 million and a full retraction.
Noriega is a named partner at Panama-based Arias, Abrego, Lopez & Noriega specializing in corporate law and international business.
The article dealt with the controversial case of Dr. Shakeel Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who was arrested in Pakistan after reportedly helping to track down Osama Bin Laden through a fake vaccination program. The article was highly critical of how U.S. officials had responded to Afridi’s arrest.
His complaint alleged that Huffington Post caused him to “suffer loss of personal reputation, embarrassment, personal humiliation, general emotional distress, and specifically, stress relating to possible negative ramifications on his U.S. travel and work visas.”
His defamation claims are coupled with an allegation of malice by Huffington Post, which has had no response to the allegations. What is interesting is that the defamation claims include statements that are deemed defamatory because they express strong opinions that are not his own. It is a rather novel claim. There is a more direct false light claim as the second count.
Here is the complaint.
Source: Legal Times