More popcorn? Mann lawsuit “likely to succeed on the merits”

Via Climate Science Watch:

… The Court finds that there is sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits. As the Court stated in its previous Order, the NR Defendants’ reference to Plaintiff “as the man behind the fraudulent climate change ‘hockey stick’ graph” was essentially an allegation of fraud by Plaintiff. …

The Court clearly recognizes that some members involved in the climate-change discussions and debates employ harsh words. The NR Defendants are reputed to use this manner of speech; however there is a line between rhetorical hyperbole and defamation. In this case, the evidence before the Court demonstrates that something more than mere rhetorical hyperbole is, at least at this stage present. Accusations of fraud, especially where such accusations are made frequently through the continuous usage of words such as “whitewashed,” “intellectually bogus,” “ringmaster of the tree-ring circus” and “cover-up” amount to more than rhetorical hyperbole. …

The evidence before the Court indicates the likelihood that “actual malice” is present in the NR Defendants’ conduct. …

The Court finds that Plaintiff’s claim for [Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress] is similar to that for defamation. There is sufficient evidence before the Court to indicate “actual malice.” The NR Defendants have frequently accused Plaintiff of academic fraud regardless of their awareness that Plaintiff has been investigated by several bodies and his work found to be proper. The NR Defendant’s persistence despite the findings of the investigative bodies could be likened to a witch hunt.

Comments:

  1. Oh lordy. I'd have thought their legal advisers would have been telling them to work out a way they could both save some face **and** settle for the least amount possible. But they seem to be digging their heels in.

    Popcorn indeed.

  2. From the Aug. 30 Court Order:

    Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress ("IIED")

    ... The Court finds that Plaintiff’s claim for IIED is similar to that for defamation. There is sufficient evidence before the Court to indicate “actual malice.” The NR Defendants have frequently accused Plaintiff of academic fraud regardless of their awareness that Plaintiff has been investigated by several bodies and his work found to be proper. The NR Defendant’s persistence despite the findings of the investigative bodies could be likened to a witch hunt. In fact, Plaintiff had nothing to do with the Sandusky case yet the NR Defendants seized upon that criminal act by a pedophile and did more, this Court finds, than simply comment on another article.

    The Court agrees with the arguments advanced by Plaintiff. To place Plaintiff’s name in the same sentence with Sandusky (a convicted pedophile) is clearly outrageous.

    Well, if I were Mike Mann I'd be emotionally distressed too, but I presume the defendents would say privately that it was nothing personal, they were just doing what they were paid to do.

  3. In case it wasn't clear in my first comment: I doubt the defendants cared whether Mann was emotionally distressed. Their job was to poison the well of public understanding about climate science.


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