BELLINGHAM, WA, Sept. 8, 2016 (Press Release) -U.S. and Canadian-based nonprofit Stand.earth today filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them and Greenpeace by Resolute Forest Products, Canada’s largest logging company, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Augusta Division. Resolute is attempting to silence critics of their logging practices, and have filed suit against nine named defendants and twenty unnamed defendants using a civil RICO claim.
“We’re proud of our work protecting forests and standing up to corporate bullies, and today we filed a motion to dismiss this intimidation lawsuit,” said Todd Paglia, Executive Director of Stand.earth. Both Stand.earth and Mr. Paglia are named defendants in the lawsuit. “The stakes for both the Canadian Boreal forest, and for the rights of individuals and nonprofits to criticize corporations are far too high. We will stand strong and we will not be intimidated into silence by their army of attorneys.”
From the introduction in today’s filing:
This is the archetypal strategic lawsuit against public participation -- commonly known as a “SLAPP action.” The complaint is a massive, yet insufficiently pleaded, document asserting claims against nine named defendants and twenty unnamed defendants in an effort to prevent them from exercising their right of free speech in the marketplace of public ideas. Mr. Paglia and Stand have been critical of Plaintiffs’ destructive logging practices. But rather than making a genuine effort to work with Mr. Paglia, Stand, and other environmental advocacy groups to reform its practices, Plaintiffs filed this action in an effort to silence legitimate criticism of their operations.
“Resolute can’t sue the facts away, or intimidate us into silence” added Paglia, “So we’re asking Resolute CEO Richard Garneau to recognize that attacking the First Amendment and both the freedoms and the people it protects is a really bad idea: he should drop the lawsuit.”