This is an interesting lawsuit which is straight off the press. We are not privy to any details but doubt there will b $100 million paid out. That said it will be interesting to see if this suit leads anywhere and what happens. This is not only a hedge fund and Bloomberg issue but has ramification for the entire media and asset management industry, as well. Interestingly, Lemelson did not like a WSJ article about the firm but never filed suit (as far as we know).
See the full release and doc below.
$100 Million Defamation Suit Filed against Bloomberg L.P., Reporter Matt Robinson and Editor Jesse Westbrook
Marlborough, Mass., May 10, 2016— Bloomberg, L.P. and two Bloomberg employees, Jesse Westbrook, a Bloomberg editor, and Matt Robinson, a Bloomberg reporter, were sued today for defamation in Massachusetts Superior Court. The plaintiff, Father Emmanuel Lemelson, seeks $100 million in compensatory damages for defamation in a March 18, 2016 Bloomberg article by Robinson.
Bloomberg’s defamatory article about Lemelson Capital Management
Robinson’s March 18 article, “Hedge Fund Priest’s Trades Probed by Wall Street Cop,” wrongly reports that Lemelson “is being investigated by U.S. regulators for possible stock manipulation” and other factually inaccurate allegations. The defamatory article cites no statement or source from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or any other federal agency that would be positioned to confirm the allegations. Nor does the Bloomberg article cite or quote any reliable source that could confirm the claims.
Official records reveal that neither Robinson nor Westbrook or any other Bloomberg employee ever submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the SEC for any information that would have established their defamatory allegations. Additionally, as cited in the complaint, Robinson was specifically told by the plaintiff that neither he nor his firm were the target of any investigation. Yet, Robinson replied that “I am going to write that you are being investigated anyway.”
Lemelson said today that he has been advised by legal counsel for the suit, Thomas Mason, Esq., that the article meets and exceeds the threshold for the statutory definition of defamation, commercial disparagement, negligence and punitive damages. Mason also said today that the Bloomberg article written by Robinson and overseen by editor Westbrook “is the most egregious example of indisputable and actionable defamation that I have witnessed in my 27-year legal career.”
Lemelson Capital Management’s counsel also confirmed today that they have been assured by the SEC that neither Lemelson nor Lemelson Capital Management, which manages the industry-leading Amvona Fund, are or have ever been the target of any investigation.
The complaint against Bloomberg, Robinson and Westbrook seeks $100 million in compensatory damages. The full complaint, filed today in Massachusetts Superior Court, can be read here:
About Lemelson Capital Management
Lemelson Capital Management, LLC is a private investment management firm focused on deep value and special situation investments. The firm’s flagship fund, The Amvona Fund, has been named repeatedly one of the world’s top performing hedge funds. For more information, see: http://www.lemelsoncapital.com
See the full complaint below.