A consumer protection lawyer has spoken out against a defamation lawsuit Aster Graphics (Aster) slapped on California-based Steven Giannetta back in April.
“Aster’s lawsuit against Mr Giannetta is a shameful abuse of the legal system,” Mark Javitch told RT Media. Javitch of Javitch Law Office is a consumer protection lawyer in San Mateo, California, USA.
In response, Javitch has filed an anti-SLAPP motion against Aster’s SLAPP lawsuit. A SLAPP lawsuit is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation and is “intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.”
Back in April, Aster sued Giannetta, among others, at the Superior Court of the State of California, Orange County 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.
Giannetta alleges he was simply exercising his right to free speech by posting 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 in April was all about censoring Giannetta’s statements which allegedly expose Aster. “California law does not permit suits like Aster’s and imposes penalties for bringing them,” Javitch said. He added his anti-SLAPP motion “requests the court to strike Aster’s lawsuit in full and impose penalties against Aster.”
Giannetta, also known to thousands on social media as the “King of Toner”, told RT Media, “My attorney has now ‘SLAPPed’ one back at Aster.”
Javitch went on to say he is not charging Giannetta any up-front fee to represent him in court. “I was shocked at Aster’s behavior in bringing these frivolous lawsuits attacking people for their freedom of speech. Aster’s tactics do not belong in the United States of America.” Javitch is confident the court will require Aster to pay his attorney fees and drafted his anti-SLAPP motion to include a justly deserved penalty.