Steven Giannetta says he is confident about facing Aster Graphics in court on Thursday, August 1, 2019.
Gianetta’s attorney, Mark Javitch, has filed an appeal to the Superior Court of the State of California Orange County. He wants Aster Graphic’s complaint to be dismissed.
Back in April, Aster sued Giannetta, among others, seeking at least US$1 million in damages, claiming Giannetta had posted false and defamatory articles about Aster on social media and on the TonerNews.com website. In response, Giannetta said he was simply exercising his right to free speech. He posted articles about published scientific reports that revealed the toner in Aster’s printer cartridges had tested positive for elevated rates of decaBDE and were banned in the European Union.
According to Javitch, Aster’s SLAPP motion was all about censoring Giannetta’s statements which allegedly expose Aster. A SLAPP lawsuit is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. It’s “intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they abandon their criticism or opposition.”
According to Javitch’s motion, a copy of which has been supplied to RT Media, Aster has continued its campaign to censor Giannetta from talking about the study that found elevated levels of DecaBDE in Aster’s print cartridges. Javitch contends the debate over the quality of Aster’s cartridges should have taken place in the press, not in the courtroom.
In addition, Javitch disputes Aster’s claims that printer cartridges containing toxic chemicals are not an issue of public concern.
The motion states Giannetta has met his legal obligations but Aster has failed to meet its burden. “First, Aster offers scant evidence in support of its claims, and most of the evidence it does submit is inadmissible. Even if Aster’s evidence were admissible, it would fall short of establishing a prima facie case. Among other things, Aster fails to offer evidence that Mr Giannetta made the statements at issue, that they were defamatory, or that Mr Giannetta acted with malice. Each of these failings independently dooms Aster’s claims.”
Read our previous story ‘King of Toner’ Slaps Back at Aster Graphics