Court Refuses to Enter Injunction Requiring Tortious Content to be Taken Off Website

Plaintiff obtained a jury verdict and almost $200,000 in damages over an article in a trade association publication that cast him in a false light. When the publication kept the offending article on its website, plaintiff sought relief for the alleged "continued tortious conduct." Defendant moved to dismiss, arguing, among other things, that the question was barred by res judicata, and that the plaintiff sought an impermissible remedy. The court granted the motion and dismissed the case.

On the res judicata question, the parties were the same, the legal claim was the same and pertained to the same article. The jury had made a final determination and the court denied post-trial relief. So dismissal on res judicata was warranted.

As for the sought-after relief being impermissible, the court considered whether the case should be subject to an exception of the equitable maxim providing that a court will not enjoin a libel. In this case, the court found no basis for applying that exception, especially given that plaintiff had received a remedy at law and six figures in damages.

Graboff v. American Ass'n of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2013 WL 1875819 (E.D.Pa. May 3, 2013)