Home > Industry stuff, Legal > Herbal supplement company sues Kamloops Daily News

Herbal supplement company sues Kamloops Daily News

September 14, 2012

The Kamloops Daily News has been sued by Strauss Herb Company over an April 2 column by Russ Reid.

The company says Reid’s column gave readers the impression Strauss was knowingly trying to sucker customers into buying a worthless product, according to a story by Kamloops This Week reporter Tim Petruk.

According to Petruk:

The column was in response to a KTW front-page story nearly a month earlier — in the March 6, 2012 edition — titled Strauss claims victory, describing the fact Strauss Heart Drops had received natural-health designation from Health Canada.

In its statement of claim, Strauss took particular issue with one paragraph of Reid’s column — which stated Strauss “has refused to reveal its formula and put standard specific information about the ingredients on its product label.”

Reid went on to compare Strauss to 19th-century snake-oil salesmen and New York Ponzi-scheme con man Bernie Madoff.

……

The Kamloops Daily News responded, in documents filed last week, with a counter-claim against Strauss,  alleging false advertising and seeking orders from the court that Strauss stop making exaggerated claims about its products.

The newspaper also denied any malice in publishing Reid’s column and claimed it was a matter of public interest — specifically citing reader comments under the column when it was published online, including a number of “intemperate remarks” from a user traced back to a Strauss computer.

more…

As the story notes, none of the claims have been proven in court.

The Daily News published an unbylined story on the lawsuit with the headline “Paper responds to Strauss lawsuit.” (Although, I usually just quote snippets of stories, what with copyright and all that, I’m going to reprint in full since it’s pretty much a press release. If that’s a problem, let me know.)

Lawyers for Glacier Media, the Kamloops Daily News and a retired city doctor have filed a response to a lawsuit from a Kamloops company alleging defamation and libel.

The legal documents were filed in B.C. Supreme Court Friday, in response to a lawsuit from Strauss Enterprises (the Strauss Herb Company), and Peter Strauss, Brian Kettle, Bill Carey, Don Schulz and Robert Jackman of the company.

Strauss’s lawsuit, filed earlier this year, names Glacier Media Inc., The Daily News, Dr. Russ Reid, editor Mel Rothenburger and publisher Tim Shoults.

Strauss claims it was defamed in a column authored by Reid, who wrote about Health Canada’s awarding of a natural product number to Strauss Heartdrops. The article was published in The Daily News last spring.

The Kamloops Daily News and the other defendants have filed a response in which they deny that the column has the meaning claimed by the plaintiffs, and some of the defendants have challenged Strauss’s advertisements.

It’s not known when the case will reach court.

Rothenburger, incidentally, was slated to retire Sept. 14, two days after the news of the lawsuit was made public.

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