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The guardian.co.uk Web site reports today on a 26-page complaint filed in the Supreme Court of New York (Peter Daou & James Boyce v. Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer & TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.) in which two Democratic politicos allege breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, idea misappropriation, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of implied contract against the co-founders of The Huffington Post news aggregator.
According to their lawsuit, Daou & Boyce are being deprived of an ownership interest in HuffPost by the defendants, whom they accuse of stealing their idea for the influential Web site that launched in 2005. According to the Guardian account, Daou has pledged to donate any proceeds from the lawsuit to progressive political causes.
Huffington & Lerer released a statement to the Politico Web site denying the plaintiffs' accusations, and asserting that Daou & Boyce had no role in the creation, financing or operation of TheHuffingtonPost Web site. The defendants allege they rejected hiring or entering into a partnership with the plaintiffs six years ago.
The lawsuit is in its nascent stage as the defendants have yet to file an answer to the complaint. The defendants should have no problem mounting a defense with the money that they don't pay Web site contributors, but Arianna probably wishes she had the "bus money" she doled out to transport New Yorkers to the Stewart/Colbert Rally for Sanity in Washington, D.C. last month.