This case was last updated from PACER on 10/17/2021 at 07:04:21 (UTC).

Stossel v. Facebook Inc. et al

Case Summary

On September 22, 2021, John Stossel (“Plaintiff” or “Stossel”), represented by Krista Lee Baughman of Dhillon Law Group Inc., filed a personal injury lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”), Science Feedback and Climate Feedback (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking injunctive and declaratory relief and award for damages along with costs for alleged defamation by the Defendants. This case was filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California.

 

In the complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that, “In the last year, Stossel posted on Facebook two short video reports in which he interviewed experts in the climate change arena about facts and data that Defendants concede are true.”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged, “Without identifying a single false fact contained in the video reports – and in one instance, apparently without even bothering to review the video at all – Defendants publicly announced that Stossel’s reporting had failed a fact-check.”

 

The Plaintiff further alleged that, “Defendants defamed Stossel, with malice. First, they attributed to Stossel a claim he did not make, and which caused his viewers to shun him. Defendants made this false attribution recklessly, before they had even reviewed his video. And even after Stossel brought the issue to Defendants’ attention, Defendants refused to correct their speech, and intentionally left the false attribution online for anyone to see, where it remains today.”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged that, “Then, Defendants falsely labeled Stossel’s second video report as having failed a “fact[1]check” and stated that it contained “factual inaccuracies” and was “partly false.” Defendants applied these labels, knowing full well that Stossel’s content contained not a single false fact, and despite the concession by Defendants’ own scientist reviewer that no “specific facts” in the report were wrong.”

 

There is only one claim of relief laid down by the Plaintiff, for alleged defamation.

 

In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff requested the Court for injunctive and declaratory relief requiring Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and all other persons acting in concert or participation with them, to remove all content found to be defamatory and refrain from re-posting such content. The Plaintiff also requested the Court to award for damages including general, special and compensatory damages in a sum sufficient to make Plaintiff whole for his actual damages and reputational damages, in an amount according to proof at trial but estimated to exceed $1,000,000 and exemplary and punitive damages in a sum sufficient to deter Defendants’ conduct, but in an amount no less than $1,000,000 along with costs of suit or any other relief that the Court deems just and proper.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    5:21-CV-07385

  • Filing Date:

    09/22/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Virginia K. DeMarchi

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

John Stossel

Defendants

Facebook Inc.

Science Feedback

Climate Feedback

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Stuart McCommas

Attorney at Dhillon Law Group Inc.

177 Post Street, Suite 700

San Francisco, CA 94108

Krista Lee Baughman

Attorney at Dhillon Law Group Inc.

177 Post Street, Suite 700

San Francisco, CA 94108

Harmeet K. Dhillon

Attorney at Dhillon Law Group Inc.

177 Post Street, Suite 700

San Francisco, CA 94108

Defendant Attorneys

Ari Holtzblatt

Attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

1875 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20006

Molly Maureen Jennings

Attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

1875 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20006

Sonal N. Mehta

Attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

2600 El Camino Real, Suite 400

Palo Alto, CA 94306

 

Court Documents

#22

(#22) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi granting #15 Motion for leave to appear Pro Hac Vice (Jennings). (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/15/2021) (Entered: 10/15/2021)

#21

(#21) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi granting #14 Motion for leave to appear Pro Hac Vice (Holtzblatt). (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/15/2021) (Entered: 10/15/2021)

#20

(#20) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi granting #19 Stipulation to Enlarge Time to Respond to Complaint. (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/15/2021) (Entered: 10/15/2021)

19 #2

Proposed Order

19 #1

Declaration of Sonal N. Mehta Thereto

#19

(#19) STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER filed by Facebook Inc., John Stossel. (Attachments: #1 Declaration of Sonal N. Mehta Thereto, #2 Proposed Order)(Mehta, Sonal) (Filed on 10/14/2021) Modified on 10/15/2021 (ecgS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/14/2021)

#18

(#18) STIPULATION to Enlarge Time to Respond to Complaint Per L.R. 6-1(A), filed by Facebook Inc., John Stossel. (Mehta, Sonal) (Filed on 10/14/2021) Modified on 10/15/2021 (ecgS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/14/2021)

#15

(#15) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice of Molly Jennings on behalf of Facebook, Inc., ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-16499037.) filed by Facebook Inc.. (Jennings, Molly) (Filed on 10/14/2021) (Entered: 10/14/2021)

#14

(#14) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice of Ari Holtzblatt on behalf of Facebook, Inc., ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-16498992.) filed by Facebook Inc.. (Holtzblatt, Ari) (Filed on 10/14/2021) (Entered: 10/14/2021)

#8

(#8) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi denying without prejudice #7 Motion for Pro Hac Vice (McCommas). (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2021) (Entered: 10/04/2021)

7 #1

Certificate of Good Standing

#7

(#8) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi denying without prejudice #7 Motion for Pro Hac Vice (McCommas). (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2021) (Entered: 10/04/2021)

#6

(#6) Summons Issued as to Climate Feedback, Facebook Inc., Science Feedback. (gbaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

#5

(#5) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 12/21/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 12/28/2021 01:30 PM in San Jose, Courtroom 2, 5th Floor. (gbaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

#3

(#3) Certificate of Interested Entities by John Stossel identifying Corporate Parent Stossel Productions, LLC for John Stossel. re #1 Complaint (Baughman, Krista) (Filed on 9/22/2021) (Entered: 09/22/2021)

#2

(#2) Proposed Summons. (Baughman, Krista) (Filed on 9/22/2021) (Entered: 09/22/2021)

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

#1

(#3) Certificate of Interested Entities by John Stossel identifying Corporate Parent Stossel Productions, LLC for John Stossel. re #1 Complaint (Baughman, Krista) (Filed on 9/22/2021) (Entered: 09/22/2021)

18 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 10/15/2021
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  • Docket(#22) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi granting #15 Motion for leave to appear Pro Hac Vice (Jennings). (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/15/2021) (Entered: 10/15/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/15/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#21) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi granting #14 Motion for leave to appear Pro Hac Vice (Holtzblatt). (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/15/2021) (Entered: 10/15/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/15/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#20) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi granting #19 Stipulation to Enlarge Time to Respond to Complaint. (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/15/2021) (Entered: 10/15/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/14/2021
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  • Docket(#19) STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER filed by Facebook Inc., John Stossel. (Attachments: #1 Declaration of Sonal N. Mehta Thereto, #2 Proposed Order)(Mehta, Sonal) (Filed on 10/14/2021) Modified on 10/15/2021 (ecgS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/14/2021)

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  • 10/14/2021
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  • Docket(#18) STIPULATION to Enlarge Time to Respond to Complaint Per L.R. 6-1(A), filed by Facebook Inc., John Stossel. (Mehta, Sonal) (Filed on 10/14/2021) Modified on 10/15/2021 (ecgS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/14/2021)

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  • 10/14/2021
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  • Docket(#17) Certificate of Interested Entities by Facebook Inc. (Mehta, Sonal) (Filed on 10/14/2021) (Entered: 10/14/2021)

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  • 10/14/2021
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  • Docket(#16) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Facebook Inc. identifying Corporate Parent No Corporate Parent and No Publicly Held Corporation Owns 10% or More of Its Stock for Facebook Inc.. (Mehta, Sonal) (Filed on 10/14/2021) (Entered: 10/14/2021)

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  • 10/14/2021
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  • Docket(#15) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice of Molly Jennings on behalf of Facebook, Inc., ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-16499037.) filed by Facebook Inc.. (Jennings, Molly) (Filed on 10/14/2021) (Entered: 10/14/2021)

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  • 10/14/2021
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  • Docket(#14) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice of Ari Holtzblatt on behalf of Facebook, Inc., ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-16498992.) filed by Facebook Inc.. (Holtzblatt, Ari) (Filed on 10/14/2021) (Entered: 10/14/2021)

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  • 10/14/2021
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  • Docket(#13) NOTICE of Appearance by Sonal N. Mehta on behalf of Facebook, Inc., (Mehta, Sonal) (Filed on 10/14/2021) (Entered: 10/14/2021)

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2 More Docket Entries
  • 10/07/2021
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  • Docket(#10) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by John Stossel.. (Baughman, Krista) (Filed on 10/7/2021) (Entered: 10/07/2021)

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  • 10/06/2021
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  • Docket(#9) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice [RE-FILED] (Filing fee $ 317.) Filing fee previously paid on 09/30/2021 filed by John Stossel. (Attachments: #1 Certificate of Good Standing)(McCommas, Stuart) (Filed on 10/6/2021) (Entered: 10/06/2021)

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  • 10/04/2021
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  • Docket(#8) Order by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi denying without prejudice #7 Motion for Pro Hac Vice (McCommas). (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2021) (Entered: 10/04/2021)

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  • 09/30/2021
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  • Docket(#7) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-16447974.) filed by John Stossel. (Attachments: #1 Certificate of Good Standing)(McCommas, Stuart) (Filed on 9/30/2021) (Entered: 09/30/2021)

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  • 09/23/2021
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  • Docket(#6) Summons Issued as to Climate Feedback, Facebook Inc., Science Feedback. (gbaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/23/2021
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  • Docket(#5) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 12/21/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 12/28/2021 01:30 PM in San Jose, Courtroom 2, 5th Floor. (gbaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

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  • 09/23/2021
  • Docket(#4) Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 10/7/2021. (mbcS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

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  • 09/22/2021
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  • Docket(#3) Certificate of Interested Entities by John Stossel identifying Corporate Parent Stossel Productions, LLC for John Stossel. re #1 Complaint (Baughman, Krista) (Filed on 9/22/2021) (Entered: 09/22/2021)

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  • 09/22/2021
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  • Docket(#2) Proposed Summons. (Baughman, Krista) (Filed on 9/22/2021) (Entered: 09/22/2021)

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  • 09/22/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT for Defamation; Jury Trial Demanded against Climate Feedback, Facebook Inc., Science Feedback (Filing fee $ 402.00, receipt number 0971-16419123.). Filed by John Stossel. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Baughman, Krista) (Filed on 9/22/2021) Modified on 9/23/2021 (gbaS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 09/22/2021)

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