A Portland blogger is facing a million dollar lawsuit later this month, for sending allegedly defamatory tweets about a medical spa doctor.
In a case that will test old libel laws against new digital media, Tiffany Craig will have to defend herself against medical spa doctor Jerrold Darm, who claims that Craig defamed himself and his practice on Twitter.
As Oregon Live reports, Craig allegedly sent several tweets about Darm, writing that he exchanged sex for medical treatment.
Although Darm was reprimanded for “unprofessional or dishonorable conduct”, sex was never mentioned in the state board’s investigation into his practice.
The lawyer on Craig’s side claims that she did not defame Darm, as the “gist” of her blog post and tweets were basically true, based on state medical records. However Darm’s lawyer argues that, since Craig had never been treated by Darm, she had no reason to post the tweets in the first place.
This million dollar lawsuit is scheduled to head to the courtroom on October 20th, when Darm’s lawyer will have to prove that the tweets were public in nature and caused defamation.
If the case progresses beyond that, it will be the first US Twitter libel suit to reach a courtroom.
Other Twitter defamation cases, most notably a lawsuit against Courtney Love which was settled out of court for $430,000, have been on the rise in recent months. However, they have all thus far either been dismissed or settled out of court.