On the same day Passive Guy drops a little thought about class-action suits, the Boston Globe reports on two class-action lawsuits against authors and their publishers.
To be completely clear, based upon what the Globe writes, these seem to PG to be enormously without merit.
Before this year, there had been only two significant class action suits against major publishers, both of which were settled. Since January, however, both Simon & Schuster and Penguin Group have found themselves staring down the barrels of class action litigation.
S&S filed an aggressive response to a class action complaint from lawyer David Schoen, who has temporarily backed away from his attack on Jimmy Carter’s controversial 2006 tome, “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid.’’ In his plaintiffs’ lawsuit, Schoen said Carter’s book was “an anti-Israeli screed’’ characterized “by falsehoods, misrepresentations, misleading statements, omissions of material facts and outright lies.’’
More recently, two plaintiffs in Montana sued local resident Greg Mortenson and Penguin, which published the gajillion-selling “Three Cups of Tea,’’ a heartwarming tale about all the nice things that happen to strangers in the wilds of Central Asia. The sequel, “Stones Into Schools,’’ sold pretty well, too.
The Montana suit alleges that the author and publisher “have repeatedly fabricated material details in the books ‘Three Cups of Tea’ and ‘Stones into Schools.’ The purpose of these fabrications was to induce unsuspecting individuals to purchase these books and feel good about Mortenson, thinking he was such a humanitarian for the sole benefit of children. These fabrications have generated significant sums of money for Mortenson . . .; and Penguin in the form of book sales.’’
Link to the rest at The Boston Globe (you may have to register and/or log in to read the entire article on this annoying site)
The article goes on to discuss The First Amendment which certainly seems to cover the authors and books mentioned.