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Sedgwick Claims Management Service v Delsman

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Miscellaneous

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Robert Delsman established several web sites to criticize Sedgwick, the company that was responsible for the denial of his claim under the disability policy for his employment with General Electric. Sedgwick sued him for copyright infringement and for defamation, and defending himself pro se, Delsman persuaded the trial court to reject the copyright claim and hold that the defamation action was a SLAPP suit. After Sedgwick appealed, Public Citizen agreed to represent Delsman and argued that when Delsman referred to Sedgwick’s“ latest Ponzi scheme”, he was not literally accusing Sedgwick of running a Ponzi scheme but referring rhetorically to Sedgwick’s impact on the lives of the workers whose claims it denies. Public Citizen also argued that Sedgwick failed to show that Delsman’s characterization was false. The court of appeals affirmed.