Saadi v. Maroun, No. 07-CV-01976 (M.D. Fla. filed Oct. 31, 2007).
Status: $90,000 verdict for plaintiff.

Lawyer Edward T. Saadi filed a complaint against his cousin Pierre Maroun, Hala Fakhre Maroun, and several anonymous defendants based on blog and forum postings that alleged that Saadi consorted with terrorists, diverted funds from a non-profit to support terrorism, hadn't gone to law school and had a teenage girlfriend. Later Saadi added Maroun’s International, LLC as a defendant.

A motion to dismiss the claims of defamation was denied on court findings that the statements were held out as factual, and not as opinions. Hala Maroun was subsequently dropped from the lawsuit. A defense motion for summary judgment was denied, and the case proceeded to trial.

After a three-day trial, the court dismissed the claims against Maroun's International.  The jury then found for Saadi and awarded $90,000: $30,000 in compensatory damages, and $60,000 in punitive damages.

The defendant has filed a post-trial motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or a new trial.

Links and Court Documents:
Case Information (Citizen Media Law Project)
Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (filed Mar. 30, 2008)
Judgment (filed Oct. 2, 2009)

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