Monday, October 19, 2009

New Yorker Mag Faces $45m Libel Suit from New Guinea Tribesmen

The New YorkerImage via Wikipedia
Two tribesmen from the Independent State of Papua New Guinea have filed an amended 30-page defamation lawsuit against the publisher of The New Yorker and the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of  the article "Vengeance is Ours," that appeared in the magazine in April 2008, according to Forbes Magazine.

The amended complaint, filed in the New York Supreme Court by attorney Jack Litman, who represented "Preppie Murder" defendant Robert Chambers, seeks $45 million in damages, and cites 24 allegedly false passages in the article that purportedly defame the plaintiffs.The case is Henep Isum Mandingo & Hup Daniel Wemp v. Advance Publications, Inc. & Jared Diamond (Case No. 09-105519).

The complaint contends that the magazine failed to fact-check the article about events that allegedly transpired in the nation that is part of Oceania, though The New Yorker counters that an editorial staffer vigorously fact-checked Diamond's account.  According to the complaint, Diamond's article alludes to a three-year-long clan war that killed 30 and purportedly was sparked by the presence of a pig in a garden, while the complaint alleges only four people died in the three-month long struggle that was caused by a card game.

Wemp & Mandingo allege the article falsely portrays them as sanctioning prostitution, encouraging rape, and being complicit in several murders, which the plaintiffs claim has made them targets of anger from their fellow tribesmen and prevented them from attaining gainful employment.

The defendants denied the allegations against them in their Answer to the Original Complaint.  Unfortunately for the defendants, Papua New Guinea abolished sea shells as its official currency in 1933, so were Wemp and Mandingo to prevail, it will cost Tne New Yorker several million "clams."
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1 comment:

  1. Mandingo may be represented by Jack Litman, but The New Yorker has Lance Horner of Masters and Falconhurst on their side. Okay, Mandingo,
    let's mix it up!