Defamation alleged in $5M lawsuit
A $5 million defamation lawsuit has been filed by Madison County Engineer Rudy Warnock accusing an unknown party of posting information on an Internet blog that caused him to suffer "great mental suffering and emotional distress as well as shame, humiliation and embarrassment."
The lawsuit was filed in Madison County Circuit Court on Oct. 31, 2008, and subpoenas have been issued to the Internet search engine company Google to release information on the party that owns and operates the blog.
The complaint states that on or about Oct. 13, 2008, an unknown party posted a blog about Warnock on the website known as madisonmisfits.blogspot.com. It posed the question: "What did this cost Madison County?" implying that Warnock had defrauded the county in some way.
The lawsuit goes on to say that the, "defamatory manner of the entry was calculated to cause, and did cause, great injury to the Plaintiff's reputation."
Canton attorney Bill Collins is representing Warnock in the case and said that the information posted on the blog included photographs which he said were falsely referenced to information within the blog.
Collins declined to give specifics on what was written in the blog or any description of the photos posted, however.
When reached by telephone, Warnock declined to comment due to the pending litigation.
Warnock in 2007 ran for Central District Transportation Commissioner as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Dick Hall.
Collins did say by issuing a subpoena to Google they hope to uncover information on the party that owns and operates the blog. Once that information is obtained, he said those individuals will be issued subpoenas to appear in court.
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