CALIFORNIA - Greenpeace and other environmental groups urged a California federal court to dismiss a complaint by Resolute Forest Products, which alleges defamation and racketeering arising from an environmentalist anti-logging campaign, says Law360.
U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar dismissed Resolute's original claim in October, saying that Resolute failed to show that the campaign's statements were both false and malicious.
Greenpeace and environmental group STAND said that even though Resolute's amended complaint is longer than the original, it fails to support its claim that the activists made maliciously false statements in their campaign "Resolute: Forest Destroyer."
The amended complaint should receive the same treatment, the environmental groups said.
Resolute says that the campaign cost them millions of dollars and damaged its reputation. The company claims the anti-logging campaign's purpose was to spread false claims regarding its effect on Canadian forests, indigenous people, and fabricated evidence about climate change.
“False statements made with malice have never been protected speech under our law," Resolute attorney Michael J. Bowe told Law360. "The judge previously ruled we needed to allege more facts showing malice. We alleged a mountain of new facts showing malice, and the defendants utterly ignore those new facts in their motions."
“Here, Resolute attempted to amend its complaint by making mostly cosmetic changes, despite the court’s admonition that the appropriate means of addressing any issues Resolute may have with defendants’ speech activities is more speech,” Greenpeace International’s motion said. “Resolute has added speech that postdates the lawsuit, revealing its true purpose: to censor future speech.”
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