April 25, 2019
In the Superior Court of the State of California, Orange County, Aster Graphics has accused Steven Giannetta and Does 1-50 of trade libel, defamation, and false light.
Aster, the Plaintiff, accuses Giannetta of posting “numerous false and defamatory articles” against the company on websites such as TonerNews.com and LinkedIn; specifically, Giannetta called Aster a “toner cloner” and a seller of “toxic toner cartridges,” the plaintiff alleges.
The defendant “also represented in his articles and posts that Aster sold its products directly to the consumer through multiple brands and accounts on Amazon,” Aster states.
“All those Defendant’s representations are false,” Aster asserts, declaring that its products are “manufactured in compliance with all statutes and regulations.” Aster also states that the alleged misrepresentations by Giannetta “were made to prevent Plaintiff’s current and prospective customers from doing business with Plaintiff and have damaged Plaintiff’s commercial reputations and ability to generate business.”
Furthermore, Aster contends that Giannetta “knew that the statements were not true or acted with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the statements,” and that Aster’s customers, retailers, and prospective customers could use the statements as a basis for whether or not to do business with the company;the plaintiff suggests this has already been the case, alleging “direct financial harm because their customers, prospective customers, and retailers ceased purchasing products or doing business” on account of Giannetta’s representations.
The defamatory statements were made by the Defendant “intentionally,” “maliciously” and “willfully”, Aster further claims.
In recompense, the company is seeking “corrective advertising,” on the part of the defendant, in which the defendant “must communicate to Plaintiff’s customers that the referenced representations were falsely made,” as well as minimum damages of $1 million (€897,472) plus further punitive damages and its legal costs, as well as any other relief that the Court deems “just and proper.”
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