David H. Rich and Suzanne Elovecky obtained a $3.5 million defamation award from a federal jury on behalf of their client, Saudi Arabian scientist Hayat Sindi, who sued Samia El-Moslimany and her mother arising from numerous publications accusing Dr. Sindi of fabricating and exaggerating her academic credentials.
Dr. Sindi contended during the seven-day trial that beginning in 2011 and carrying through to the present, Samia El-Moslimany and her mother, Ann, engaged in an extensive, ongoing campaign to besmirch Dr. Sindi's professional and academic reputation by, among other things, posting defamatory statements on a website, sending inflammatory emails to her professional colleagues and business associates, and distributing fliers containing falsehoods at academic conferences.
Libelous statements included claims that Dr. Sindi had plagiarized her doctoral thesis at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and exaggerated her role at Harvard University in developing a cost-effective diagnostic tool contemplated for use in developing countries.
The relentless defamatory campaign hindered Dr. Sindi's effort to launch an entity – the Institute of Imagination and Ingenuity (i2) – designed to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among scientists, engineers and technologists in the Middle East.
The verdict, rendered after a day-and-half of deliberations, allows Ms. Sindi "to say clearly and powerfully that what has been written … is untrue and a jury has so concluded and awarded millions of dollars of damages as a result," Mr. Rich told The Boston Globe.
Ms. Sindi's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, was not driven by money, Mr. Rich told the Globe. "This case was always about having this stop," he said.
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