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Judge throws out libel suit against scientist

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge threw out a linkurl:defamation;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53709/ suit today (November 20) filed by a Korean fertility researcher against a scientist who wrote an opinion piece criticizing his work. Judge James Dunn upheld a motion filed by the defendant, Bruce Flamm of the University of California,Irvine. Flamm's motion claimed that the lawsuit sought to stifle Flamm's criticism of Kwang Yul linkurl:Cha's;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/dis

By | November 20, 2007

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge threw out a linkurl:defamation;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53709/ suit today (November 20) filed by a Korean fertility researcher against a scientist who wrote an opinion piece criticizing his work. Judge James Dunn upheld a motion filed by the defendant, Bruce Flamm of the University of California,Irvine. Flamm's motion claimed that the lawsuit sought to stifle Flamm's criticism of Kwang Yul linkurl:Cha's;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15149/; controversial 2001 linkurl:study;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53166/ linking prayer to in vitro fertilization success. In an email to The Scientist, Flamm described his elation at the suit against him being thrown out court. ''This is a great victory for science, peer review and academic freedom,'' Flamm wrote. Cha filed the lawsuit against Flamm in August over a sentence Flamm wrote in an linkurl:opinion piece;http://www.obgynnews.com/article/PIIS0029743707702021/fulltext;published in the March 15, 2007 issue of Ob. Gyn. News. The lawsuit characterized Flamm's criticism of Cha's IVF-prayer study -- which started when the study was published -- as ''a bitter personal vendetta against Dr. Cha.'' Though Cha's attorneys insisted that the suit was in reference only to a single sentence, Flamm saw the suit as an attack on his right to criticize the work of other scientists. In October, Flamm filed a motion to throw out the suit because it was an attack on his freedom of speech and constituted what is referred to in California law as a ''strategic lawsuit against public participation,'' or SLAPP. Judge Dunn upheld Flamm's ''anti-SLAPP'' motion, and so negated Cha's defamation suit. According to Flamm, Cha has 60 days to appeal this decision. Cha's spokesperson did not have any response by the time this was posted.

Comments

Avatar of: Tony Knight

Tony Knight

Posts: 5

November 21, 2007

\nWe are surprised and disappointed at the ruling because it is undisputed that the offending statement published by Dr. Flamm was false. Dr. Cha has never ?been found guilty of plagiarism, fraud and/or deception,? which is what Dr. Flamm asserted in his published essay. Even though Dr. Alan DeCherney had accused Dr. Cha of plagiarism, he later apologized and publicly retracted the statement as ?inaccurate and regrettable.? Nothing Dr. DeCherney said can make Dr. Flamm?s offending statement true. Dr. Flamm mischaracterized what Dr. DeCherney had initially said, and Dr. DeCherney?s later retraction and apology proves beyond a doubt that Dr. Flamm?s offending statement was false. We are seriously considering an appeal. ? Tony Knight, spokesman for Dr. Kwang-Yul Cha.\n\n

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