Court Dismisses Claims in No Fun’s $3M Defamation Lawsuit Against LES Dwellers
You’ll recall that No Fun (aka Ludlow Food LLC) – the controversial nightspot located at 161 Ludlow Street – filed suit against the block association in April 2016 claiming that the Dwellers “employed improper and illegal tactics to terrorize restaurants and bars in the neighborhood,” including area flyer campaigns targeting the business and commenting at publicly held Community Board 3 meetings.
(It’s worth a reminder about the brawl that happened there one month ago.)
The Honorable Justice Lynn Kolter issued a court order to dismiss on April 23, under the New York State Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute. This law permits judges to dismiss baseless lawsuits against those who speak out about matters of public concern.
“Dismissing this defamation suit is a victory for free speech,” says LES Dwellers Founder and Director Diem Boyd. “We are grateful for Judge Kotler’s vigorous defense of our First Amendment Right. Our primary concern is for the safety and livability of our communities– we will not be deterred from our mission or intimidated or harassed into silence.”
The Dwellers now intend to proceed with counter-claims against No Fun under the anti-SLAPP statute.
“Highly profitable bars and nightclubs with deep pockets will think twice about filing lawsuits that target individuals or groups with meager resources with the sole intent of burdening and burying them in costly legal fees in order to squelch their right to speech and protest,” Boyd added.