Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Way back in the year 2001, when Quackbusters Stephen Barrett, Terry Polevoy, and their attorney Christopher Grell decided to file their cockamamie lawsuit (Barrett v. Clark) in Oakland, CA Superior Court, they brandished it on the internet as their crowning activity. Little did they know, then, that it would NOT be just one more stumbling, bumbling, fumbling, act, typical of their machinations.
In fact, this lawsuit would lead them to laughable internet infamy, drawing the wrath of virtually every internet giant, worldwide, in opposition to their goals. Nor did they deduce, then, that filing a false claim in California, called a SLAPP suit, would gain them the wrath of the California legislature. But it did.
Now, of course, after almost seven years of litigation, they do know, and they found out the hard way. Now, of course, as anyone knows, the piper needs to be paid, and the bill has been presented in the form of a decision by the Oakland Superior Court ordering the threesome to pay $434,000 US more than the $55,700 already collected, to just one of the original Defendants, Ilena Rosenthal and her attorneys.
More, they made internet history, for they took their argument about Ilena Rosenthal, a side issue in the case, all the way to the California Supreme Court – and lost, getting a Published decision.
Couldn’t happen to nicer guys. (insert rude noise here)
Not long ago, two of these guys, Barrett and Grell, paid their share of what the Court demanded. The other, Terry Polevoy, did not – and for him the brutal collection process has begun. With gusto.
And, the case is not over.
In one way I feel sorry for their attorney Christopher Grell, for, in essence, the majority of the costs have fallen on him. Because, not only did he have to come up with cash from his own pocket for his part of the loss, but I don’t think he ever collected a nickel from his clients for his own fees. So, he’s out double. He litigated all of this at his own expense. I doubt that the two goofballs, Barrett and Polevoy, ever paid him a dime. In fact, I’ll bet they believe that they were doing Grell a favor, allowing him to represent their exalted selves for nothing. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.
Total Award (not including the original Superior Court $55,700 award already paid)
Polevoy only – $311,980.47
Grell only – $22,860.74
Barrett only -$21,347.31
Barrett and Polevoy $29,982.58 (joint and several)
Grell and Barrett – $1,494.93 Barrett (joint and several)
Polevoy and Grell – $46,429.72 (joint and several)
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate