Monday, December 19, 2016

⚖ Pagan v. Google, DNH 2016 :: Defamation Cause of Action Dismissed per 47 USC 230(c)

FACTS: "Pagan's complaint names "Google Corporation" as the defendant and asserts that Google defamed him by publishing false information regarding his criminal record. Specifically, he states that Google published false information labeling him as a convicted sex offender for three counts of rape in New Hampshire. Pagan asserts that the information is incorrect, and he attributes the error to a communication problem in the New Hampshire courts."

RULE: "Google is afforded immunity under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 ("CDA"), 47 U.S.C. § 230, for the publication of defamatory content prepared or posted by others. O'Kroley v. Fastcase, Inc., 831 F.3d 352, 354-55 (6th Cir. 2016). The CDA provides that "[n]o cause of action may be brought" and "no liability may be imposed under any State or local law," 47 U.S.C. § 230(e)(3), for any claim that would treat a provider of an "interactive computer service" as the "publisher or speaker of any information provided" by someone else, 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1). See O'Kroley, 831 F.3d at 354-55 (claims against Google for third party content properly dismissed under CDA); Klayman v. Zuckerberg, 753 F.3d 1354, 1357 (D.C. Cir. 2014) (claims against Facebook properly dismissed under CDA)."

CONCLUSION: "[B]ased on the facts alleged in the complaint[, Google is] immune from plaintiff's defamation claims under the CDA, and, accordingly, those defamation claims should be dismissed."

Pagan v. GOOGLE CORPORATION, Dist. Court, D. New Hampshire 2016

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