Status: Libel claims dismissed by appeals court
Georgette Gilbert, dissatisfied with plastic surgery done by Dr. Jonathan Sykes, sued him for malpractice. She also set up a website, www.mysurgerynightmare.com, detailing her experiences. Sykes countersued for libel over the contents of the site, and sought a court order to have it removed. After the court refused to issue such an order, Gilbert sought to have the libel claim dismissed under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which allows courts to dismiss libel and similar claims which attempt to limit discussion of public events and controversies. The trial court denied the motion, holding that Dr. Sykes was not a limited purpose public figure. But an appellate court reversed, granting the anti-SLAPP motion, thus dismissing the libel claims. The malpractice suit continues.
Links and Court Documents:
Appeals decision: http://www.casp.net/cases/Gilbert%20v.%20Sykes.html