A front page article in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly featured a $3.5 million defamation jury verdict and post-verdict injunction obtained by David H. Rich and Suzanne Elovecky on behalf of their client, Saudi Arabian scientist Hayat Sindi.
Dr. Sindi sued Samia El-Moslimany and her mother arising from numerous publications accusing Dr. Sindi of fabricating and exaggerating her academic credentials. Dr. Sindi contended that beginning in 2011 and carrying through to the present, Samia El-Moslimany and her mother, Ann, posted defamatory statements on a website, sent inflammatory emails to her professional colleagues and business associates, and distributed fliers containing falsehoods at academic conferences.
Subsequent to obtaining the jury verdict, Mr. Rich and Ms. Elovecky persuaded a federal judge to bar the defendants from repeating false facts in the future. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani determined that enjoining the defendants from making defamatory statements in the future does not violate their constitutional free speech rights, and will protect Dr. Sindi from future harm.
Mr. Rich told the publication in its Sept. 12, 2016 issue that obtaining the injunction was important to protect Dr. Sindi's rights, especially given testimony from both defendants that they intended to continue publishing the statements in question.
"When you're talking about a defamation judgment against an individual who may ultimately end up being judgment proof for future lawsuits, there has to be a mechanism to prevent against the perpetuation of statements that a jury has concluded are defamatory," Mr. Rich said.
Added Ms. Elovecky: "It is important to look for the post-judgment injunction, especially when you have a very defiant defendant."
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