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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Celia Farber's Day in Court: Dismissed with Unavailing Contentions


Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Louis B. York, J.), entered November 9, 2011, which granted defendant Richard Jefferys' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint as against him, unanimously affirmed, with costs. 

Supreme Court properly determined that plaintiff was a limited public figure because, through her publication of countless articles, she voluntarily injected herself into the controversial debate on whether HIV causes AIDS with a view toward influencing the debate (see Krauss v Globe Intl., 251 AD2d 191, 192 [1st Dept 1998]), and "project[ed] [her] name and personality before . . . readers of nationally distributed magazines . . . to establish [her] reputation as a leading authority" in this area (Maule v NYM Corp., 54 NY2d 880, 882-883 [1981]). The court also properly concluded that the subjects of HIV/AIDS, plaintiff's journalism, and her receipt of an award for her journalism fell "within the sphere of legitimate public concern" (Chapadeau v Utica Observer-Dispatch, 38 NY2d 196, 199 [1975]). Indeed, the record established that plaintiff was a contentious figure within the traditional HIV/AIDS community. 

Jefferys met his burden of demonstrating that plaintiff could not show by clear and convincing evidence that he made the challenged statements with actual malice or with gross irresponsibility (see Huggins v Moore, 94 NY2d 296 [1999]; Chapadeau v Utica Observer-Dispatch, 38 NY2d 196 [1975], supra). The record was devoid of evidence that Jefferys acted with knowledge that his statements were false or with reckless disregard for the truth, or that he did not follow the standards of information gathering employed by reasonable persons. Jefferys sufficiently explained that his statement about plaintiff's journalism was based on his expertise and research on HIV/AIDS for many years, on an article signed by prominent experts in the field, as well as on the many articles in the record which critiqued plaintiff's 2006 article as being filled with misquotes or misrepresentations. Jefferys also provided documentation to support why he believed what he wrote about the plaintiff was true and compared in detail plaintiff's journalism to the articles and studies she cited and explained why he believed her work to contain misrepresentations. [*2]

In opposition, plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Her effort to establish that her work does not contain misquotes or misrepresentations is immaterial because even if plaintiff were correct about her work, she can point to no evidence that would establish actual malice or gross irresponsibility (Mahoney v Adirondack Publ. Co., 71 NY2d 31, 39 [1987] ["(f)alsity and actual malice are distinct concepts"]). Similarly, plaintiff's assertion that Jefferys was biased against her or bore her ill will does not aid her cause (see Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v Connaughton, 491 US 657, 666 [1989]). Moreover, there is no reason to offer less protection to the contested statement because it was made via an Internet communication (see Sandals Resorts Intl. Ltd. v Google, Inc., 86 AD3d 32, 43-44 [1st Dept 2011]).

Supreme Court was also correct in finding that the use of the word "liar" in the contested statement was not actionable (see Ram v Moritt, 205 AD2d 516 [2d Dept 1994]; see also Steinhilber v Alphonse, 68 NY2d 283, 294 [1986]). The full content of the statement, including its tone and apparent purpose, and the broader context of the statement and surrounding circumstances leads to the conclusion that what was being read was "likely to be opinion, not fact" (see Thomas H. v Paul B., 18 NY3d 580, 584 [2012] [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Immuno AG. v Moor-Jankowski, 77 NY2d 235, 254 [1991], cert denied 500 US 954 [1991]).

Supreme Court appropriately resolved the case through summary judgment because the issues can be determined by the objective proof in the record (see Kipper v NYP Holdings Co., Inc., 12 NY3d 348, 354 [2009]; Karaduman v Newsday, Inc., 51 NY2d 531, 545 [1980]), and no additional discovery was necessary or warranted to resolve the motion.

We have considered plaintiff's remaining contentions and find them unavailing.





  1. Well, it's no surprise that the Appellate Court would administer to Celia yet another public spanking - with costs.

    You only have to have read her attorney Andrew Miltenberg's bizarre and laughably histrionic "appeal brief" to have seen this coming.

    What is beyond obvious from her own public statements on the internet is that Farber's litigation and appeal were purely vexatious, and had no possible chance of success. Their sole intended purpose was to try to intimidate her critics. That she and her lawyer would try this on pretending to be "defending free speech" is all the more contemptible.

    One hopes that the Appellate Court is taking a very close look at Miltenberg's conduct in promoting and encouraging this disgraceful fiasco.

    Or maybe Celia (or her financiers) could follow Kim Bannon's lead and make the complaint themselves.

    1. More of Miltenberg's "work".

      Mother of ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ Star Sues for Millions After Daughter Is ‘Sexualized’ on the Web

      Errr... Methinks the lady doth protest too much...

      Judge finds Randazza’s “negligence theory” unconvincing: motion to dismiss is granted, tugboat is sunken

      I especially like this one:

      Judge Dismisses Montana Museum Lawsuit

      According to the Judge, "Plaintiffs' complaint is rambling, disjointed and, in many respects, it is difficult to sort relevant information from colorful background details."

      Can someone explain why New York courts are putting up with this time wasting crackpot?

  2. A google search shows that Andrew Miltenberg's firm seems to go out of its way to take cases no sane lawyer would touch. Presumably, he damands payment up front. Business is business, after all.

  3. Miltenberg MisconductFebruary 21, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Snout, you are right.

    We should step up the complaints regarding Miltenberg's misconduct. I would like to make a list of all the public statements regarding their intimidation of their critics.

    Bar complaints continue against Miltenberg, and should be beefed up with all new info. Thanks

  4. While both courts have now ruled that there was nothing defamatory about calling HIV/AIDS denialists and their supporters "liars", it seems to be more legally correct to refer to their "Unavailing Contentions".

    As in: "Bald-faced, pants-on-fire Unavailing Contentions."

  5. So glad to see that the real world continues to show these denialists what reality is. I wonder how Farber et al will try to spin this? After all, this was supposedly only filed as some sort of bizarre "teaching tool" for up and coming lawyers.

    At least something fun has happened on the AIDS Denial front. I wonder if they realize that this whole farce they have created is dying in front of them?! If you have paid attention you will realize that since the latest "face" of their movement (Kari Stokely) has died, so has their "cause".

  6. Beppe Grillo - potentially new Italian prime minister is denialist!

    1. Yes, I found some other quotes of his, and it sounds like he and Nancy Turner Banks will be fast friends. He's most certainly a loony.

      But luckily, he is not likely to actually be PM for long if at all. They came in third, and I would say Berlusconi is more likely to make a comeback, being the slimy guy more experienced at backroom dealing.

  7. Farber has moved on to a new crusade of nutsery:

    Choice quote:

    "I am always relieved when people cry. It means they have not yet been turned into zombies in the ongoing Zombie Apocalypse."

    1. There is certainly more to this story than the family is telling, which is no surprise when Cel Farb is involved.

  8. I don't now what's going on with this Rico story, but I have a hard time believing anything Celia Farber says.

    Why is she staying so silent on the story about her own lawsuit? I think she is just using the story about Baby Rico to divert attention away from the fact that she lost this lawsuit big time. She does not give a crap about that baby. She only cares about her own miserable life and how she is perceived by her followers.

  9. Maybe she is staying silent about her court case because theres no point in going on about it when theres a babys life at stake you moron. That story is all over the internet while pharma claimed to have saved another baby with the drugs that caused Rico to have four blood transfusions and be put on life support. What planet do you people live on.

    1. Er, the real one.
      1) It is a known fact AIDS exists.
      2) Celia Farber is a proven liar and has next to no medical expertise.
      3) According to news reports, Rico was taken away from the parents because he was ALREADY severely ill and yet missed two doctors appointments. The local news, by the way, interviewed Lindsey herself so it could hardly be said to be getting a one-sided report.
      4) The fact that Rico even has AIDS is, to large degree, Celia's own fault.

    2. You're right. Farber has proven time and again that she can not concentrate on more than one "spin" at a time.

  10. Celia Farber is begging for money again. Now she is claiming she wants to use the money to hire investigative journalists. I thought she was (supposedly) an investigative journalist. Why then does she need to hire others? Just do it yourself, Celia. Oh, yeah, she does not like to work. She only likes to complain about how she is being held down by "the man" and "the man" here is of course, HIV Orthodoxy.

    There is an entire thread at RA facebook where she recounts several stories about things that were stolen from her. It sounds very much like conspiracy drivel. What a loony bird!

  11. She's been touting for cash again. What a demented woman.

    The Rico story is heartbreaking. What a selfish and dreadful thing to do: to deny your child the right to live a normal life and burden him with HIV. I am still struggling to get my head round it. It was so avoidable. Why isn't the mother arrested for and charged with cruelty?

    David Crowe and Duesberg will be licking their lips: Lindsey's death is now closer and the poor kid will grow up without a mother. Another victim for RethinkingAIDS.

    I wonder how Celia plans to spin that news when it happens?

    1. Easy - Any deterioration or death will be blamed on the stress caused by the state apparatus poisoning her baby.

  12. HIV infection in a neonate can cause anemia, the risk increases dependent on the mother's stage of disease (as does risk of HIV transmission) e.g.

    And anemia in the infant was identified as a poor prognostic factor before there was any prophylaxis available against mother-to-child transmission:

    Remember who is selecting which parts of the medical records to share publicly.

    Hopefully the fact that the infant is being allowed home means that the anemia has now been resolved. But the child should never have been infected in the first place, and eventually someone in the media will figure out that part of the story. What does it say about Steve and Cheryl Nagel's honesty that they would claim that the only reason Lindsey didn't receive prophylaxis was lack of counseling? They knew Christine Maggiore, ffs.


      Did you even read this? Malaria causes anemia you putz, not HIV.

  13. HIV associated Malaria, the next big thing in AIDS. It's like saying, "medical research suggests 100% of non smokers will die."

    Quick grab the smokes, let's make smoking mandatory, kids should be made to smoke from birth.

    Get real clowns.

    1. Have you been to sub-Saharan Africa? Almost everyone is exposed to malaria, probably several times throughout childhood. It stands to reason that if your immune system is failing, the malaria will be deadlier.

      What that has to do with smoking, who knows? I can only speculate on how your addled mind works.

    2. HIV infection in a neonate can cause anemia

      The point Elon is that study tried to show that anemia was rampant in HIV infected babies and hence your earlier posts about baby Rico and his anemia. What you didn't disclose was that the study was from Tanzanian malaria infected children.

      Malaria causes anemia, it's one of its main manifestations being that it reproduces in red blood cells and destroys the cell on exit.

      But then I wouldn't expect a moron like you to actually read and understand these things. All you can do is regurgitate the HIV mantra in your search for the AIDS god.

    3. "malaria parasitaemia and HIV infection in the children also increased the risk of anaemia. " See that word ALSO. That means that malaria parasitaemia is not the only cause of anemia. If you read the whole study, you can see the methodology that they use to get their conclusions. Looks like you are the anonymous dumbo.

  14. none of you are worth the effort , THERES NO CURING THE THE SICK IN THE HEAD.

    1. You are right. Celia Farber is probably doomed. But there's always the chance.

    2. Yes, even Celia could be helped, if she would seek proper scientific medicine.

      She won't get any better if she sticks 3 Hz treatment. She won't get better by listening to Gary Null.

      Every human life is sacred. That is why we would help even denialists. Denialists can be cured- but they need to want help.

  15. Mr. Anonymous,

    Indeed, modern medicine can even cure many persons who are sick in the head. But denialists avoid medicine! They avoid doctors!

    We could help a lot of denialists, if they only wanted help. We could have helped people who died needlessly, like K Stokely.

    Denialists are worth the effort. Every human life is sacred. As doctors and scientists, we are pledged to help everyone who wants help.

    People can believe whatever they want. But when they are ill, I hope they will accept medicines that can save their lives.