Staten v. Steel, No. 16-05-15033 (Or. Cir. Ct. Lane County jury verdict _____).
Status: $110,000 jury verdict affirmed (No. A133080, 222 Or. App. 17, 191 P.3d 778 (Or. App. Aug. 20, 2008), rev. denied, 345 Or. 618, 201 P.3d 909 (Or. Jan 13, 2009).

As part of a crusade against Club 71, a bar with nude dancing in Sunny Valley, Ore., defendants took pictures of club patrons and posted them and license plate numbers on their web site,

Among those photographed and pictured on the site was plaintiff Greg Staten, who visted the club in March 2005 with his wife and some friends, and got into a scuffle with defendant Robert Falbo, who took pictures of Staten driving away from the club. During the scuffle, Staten destroyed Falbo’s camera.

Falbo took pictures with another camera, and posted them with commentary on the site. Staten sued for false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy; he later added similar claims based on commentary posted on the site in response to his lawsuit. Falbo claimed that the statements were mere hyperbole.

The trial court denied motions to dismiss the suit under Oregon’s anti-SLAPP law and for summary judgment, and a jury trial was held which resulted in a $110,000 verdict for plaintiff.

After trial, the court denied plaintiff’s motions for reimnursement for attorney fees and for sanctions against defendants’ attoirneys. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the jury verdict, but vacated the trial’s court’s rulings on attorneys fees and sanctions, sending those rulings back to the trial court for reconsideration.

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