Nobel-Winning Scientist Dr. Michael Mann Sues Tim Ball, Frontier Centre, and "John Doe" for Libel!
The Courthouse News Service (3-28-11) reports that the famous climate scientist and Nobel-Prize winner Michael Mann (above) is suing the Canadian global warming denialist Tim Ball, the Winnepeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy, and an unnamed "John Doe" for libel. Read the Notice of Civil Claim.
As soon as the plaintiff learns the identity of "John Doe," the Notice of Civil Claim will be amended by substituting the defendant's true name.
"John Doe" is being sued because of a question he asked Ball which suggested, despite many investigations and exonerations of Dr. Mann, that Dr. Michael Mann was guilty of fraud (See The Defamatory Expression #7).
According to the Notice of Civil Claim, the interview was electronically recorded with the permission of all the defendants for the agreed purpose of re-publication to the world on the Frontier Center for Public Policy in the form of text and an electronic recording, which in fact occurred.
Richard Littlemore of DeSmog Blog (3-29-11) explains:
Dr. Michael Mann, Director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University, is suing the climate change denier Dr. Tim Ball and the think tank/web site Frontier Centre for Public Policy for libel - and particularly for suggesting that Mann is somehow guilty of criminal fraud for his part in what has come to be known as "climategate."
In the interview, an anonymous questioner ("John Doe" in court documents, says this to Ball: Various government and academic agencies have whitewashed the Climategate scandal so far. Do you think anyone will be prosecuted for fraud?" Ball responds, "Michael Mann at Penn State should be in the State Pen, not Penn State."
The Frontier Centre is a Canadian version of the Heartland Institute. The website was reportedly given an opportunity to apologize for the slight, which they declined - although they cleansed the interview of the quote featured above. (It originally appeared directly after the line: "There is a move amongst the Attorney Generals in the States to start prosecuting.")
The suits are also stacking up for Ball, who is already facing a similar action from the Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver...
In the Notice of Civil Claim, filed on March 25, 2011 in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, lawyer Roger McConchie lays out the specifics of Mann's complaint and then writes this:
"The defendants have been guilty of reprehensible, insulting, high-handed, spiteful, malicious and oppressive conduct, and such conduct by the defendants justifies the court imposing a substantial penalty of exemplary damages on the defendant and an award of special costs in favour of the plaintiff, in addition to an award of general damages for injury to reputation."
McConchie goes on to make a bid for aggravated and special damages, as well. [See the full text and attached Notice of Civil Claim.]
A Pennsylvania State University professor claims climate-change denier Timothy Ball defamed him in an interview published by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Winnipeg-based think tank.
Michael Mann, a professor in Penn State's meteorology department and director of the university's Earth Systems Science Center, claims that Ball defamed him when he said that Mann "should be in the State Pen, not Penn State," for his alleged role in the so-called climate gate email tussle.
Mann says that Ball and the Centre refused to issue an apology and published the words with the "purpose of harming the plaintiff and exposing him to hatred, ridicule and contempt, lowering the plaintiff in the estimation of others, and causing him to be shunned and avoided."