Golf megasite WorldGolf dot Com has been hit with a judgment in a $9 million lawsuit. From the Las Vegas Sun:
District Judge Jennifer Togliatti has awarded Las Vegas golf course developer Billy Walters a $9 million judgment against the owner of a large Arizona-based Internet company he alleged had defamed him.
Walters charged in a 2006 lawsuit that Robert Lewis, a Flagstaff businessman who runs Travel Golf Media Inc., had falsely disparaged him and two of his golf courses, Stallion Mountain and Desert Pines, on the Internet after he refused to sign a new agreement to promote the courses on the company’s many Web sites.
The new contract, the suit alleged, required Walters to pay three times the promotional fees he had been paying Travel Golf Media.
Lewis published a series of posts with critical reviews and unflattering photos of the golf courses over two months in the spring of 2005, the suit alleged.
Walters’ lead lawyer, James Pisanelli, argued that the defamatory statements had caused Walters emotional distress and injured his personal reputation.
That really doesn’t sound good. If the charges are true, it sounds an awful lot like extortion. Pay up, or I write bad things about you. I find it hard to believe that any legitimate organization would do such a thing.
Memo to Las Vegas golf developers: I will promote your courses for much, much less than World Golf.