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Court Dismisses Coffee Shop Defamation Suit Against NY Times

A New York state Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Brooklyn coffee shop against the New York Times after the paper published a story about a rift between the shop’s management and employees.

New York supreme courtGorilla Coffee owner Darleen Schere and operations director Carol McLaughlin accused the Times of defamation and emotional distress resulting from a blog post last year in which Gorilla employees were quoted as saying that the ownership had “created a perpetually malicious, hostile, and demeaning work environment,” according to a Reuters report. The dispute temporarily closed the longstanding neighborhood coffee shop.

The lawsuit argued that the quotes from the workers implied defamatory fact, but state Supreme Court Justice State Wayne Saitta ruled otherwise.

“It is clear to a reasonable reader that the statement made by the workers is based on their perception of their work conditions, not based on an objective source of information,” Saitta wrote in the opinion. “On the other hand, had the workers made a statement which asserted that the working conditions were in violation of a safety code or labor regulations, a reasonable reader might perceive it as implying a factual basis.”

The full story: Reuters



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