by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 17th 2011 4:24am
A couple of years ago, there was a boating accident, in which a boat driven by Roger Nicosia, an emergency room physician, hit a diver in the water, Robert Murphy, leading Murphy to lose both his legs. In an ensuing lawsuit, Nicosia was found guilty of violating navigational rules, a second-degree misdemeanor, and sentenced to a small fine and six-months probation. Rather than moving on, Nicosia is fighting back against some of his online critics, as he's suing a bunch of them -- and a website they use -- for libel. The article does not indicate what statements were actually made, but a quick search on the website -- Spearboard.com -- turns up many forum posts about Dr. Nicosia, many of which include angry statements, some of which may be defamatory. What surprises me, however, is the decision to sue Spearboard.com. It would seem, as an open forum, that the site operator has pretty strong Section 230 defenses. That doesn't absolve the individuals' comments, if they are defamatory, but suing the site itself seems to be going a bit far. Separately, does this doctor really want to call more attention to himself and this whole situation?
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