Information on Ohio's Consumer Laws from Attorney Daniel Myers, Myers Law, LLC, not legal advice
Perrino Builders has filed a lawsuit against consumer advocate Dan Myers and his clients, former customers of Perrino Builders, in response to an August 22nd blog post by Myers, which announced a lawsuit filed against Perrino Builders. Perrino Builders now seeks, among other things, an injunction to forever prohibit Myers and Myers’s clients from ever again commenting on the business of Perrino Builders. Perrino Builders’ lawsuit against Myers claims that the August 22nd announcement by Myers contained false statements that harmed Perrino Builders.
On September 26th, Myers responded to Perrino Builders’ lawsuit by filing a motion for sanctions due to frivolous conduct by Perrino Builders, Pat Perrino, and attorneys from the Cleveland law firm of Frantz Ward, LLP who represent Perrino Builders and Pat Perrino.
Myers also filed a second motion, which sought judgment against Perrino Builders and Pat Perrino, referring to Perrino Builders’ requests as requests for unconstitutional “gag orders” on Myers and his clients.
According to the motion for sanctions, Perrino Builders and its attorney(s) have filed a lawsuit against Myers containing “claims that are frivolous on their face,” including “claims that are in direct conflict with over a century of . . . legal authority.”
Perrino Builders alleged in its suit against Myers that the announcement was defamatory, and that Dan Myers intentionally interfered with its business relationships and contracts by posting the announcement. Perrino Builders is seeking, in addition to damages, preliminary and permanent injunctions against Myers, in an effort to force Myers to remove the earlier announcement, and to prohibit Myers and his clients from engaging in any future “commentary on the goods, services, and business of Perrino and Perrino Construction.”
According to legal authority cited in Myers’s motion, injunctions like those sought by Perrino Builders are “classic examples of prior restraint” on free speech, and are unconstitutional under the Ohio Constitution’s guarantee that “[e]very citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects.” The sanction motion argues that Perrino Builders’ claims against Myers, specifically Perrino Builders’ request for injunctions against alleged defamation, are frivolous given more than a century of legal decisions to the contrary.
Myers also claims in his motions that statements made in the August announcement were all true statements. To support this, the sanction motion included a document from the Medina County Building Department, titled “Residential Building Application” which stated that the first floor and second floor square footage of a Medina County family’s home added up to 2,620 square feet. It also included an e-mail related to the same project, purportedly sent by one of Perrino Builders’ co-Defendants to the same Medina County family, claiming that the same two floors had 3,045 square feet. In the motion for sanctions, Myers also referred to a voicemail that Perrino Builders allegedly left for the homeowners stating that their home was 3,000 square feet. The sanction motion refers to these figures (3,000 square feet and 3,045 square feet) as “fuzzy math used by Perrino,” which “Perrino would prefer not to be discussed publicly.”
Copies of all of these referenced documents filed with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas are linked throughout this post.