A Louisiana non-profit corporation has filed suit against unnamed individuals who allegedly posted malicious and defamatory comments on two websites -- Ripoffreport.com and Thoughts.com.
Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) filed the lawsuit against John Does 1-12 June 7 in federal court in New Orleans.
Established in 1973, SUSTA provides assistance to U.S. exporters of high-value food and agricultural. SUSTA representatives say the non-profit is successful and has earned customer loyalty as a result of hard work and honest dealings.
According to court records, on April 28, anonymous individuals made malicious and defamatory accusations and statements on RipoffReport.com and Thoughts.com, accusing SUSTA of wrongdoing, mismanagement, criminal behavior and sexual misconduct.
SUSTA representatives say these statements were made with the intent to damage SUSTA's reputation, success and goodwill, to embarrass SUSTA and its employees, tarnish its reputation and to damage business relationships.
"Defendants' dissemination of false and malicious statements has directly affected SUSTA's business and its professional reputation, and has caused irreparable injury," the lawsuit states.
SUSTA accuses the defendants of defamation per se and defamation.
SUSTA is seeking damages for loss of income, increased business costs, injury to business and professional reputation, attorney's fees and costs.
New Orleans attorneys Stephen Kupperman and Timothy McEvoy of Barrasso, Usdin, Kupperman, Freeman & Sarver are representing SUSTA
U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon is assigned to the case.
Case No. 2:10cv01669