Sunday, February 27, 2005

A big libel award against environmentalists.

High Country News tells us that in 2002, the Center for Biological Diversity unsuccessfully appealed investment banker Jim Chilton's renewal of a grazing permit for an allotment in the Coronado National Forest in Arizona. CPB then posted a a piece about the appeal on its web site, along with photographs.
Chilton responded by suing the center. In court, his attorney, Kraig Marton, showed jurors wide-angle photos — taken at the same locations as the ones on the Web site — that revealed oaks and mesquites dotting lush, rolling grasslands. Barren moonscapes blamed on cows were identified as a campsite for hunters and a parking lot for an annual festival. Marton told jurors that four of the photos weren’t even taken on Chilton’s allotment, though the center says they show a private inholding and a Forest Service exclosure on the allotment.

"They were out to do harm, out to stop grazing and out to do whatever they can to prevent the Chiltons and others like them from letting cows on public land," Marton said.
Let's just say that the jurors sympathized a whole lot more with Chilton than CPB. After a two-week trial, they whacked CPB for $100,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages. Hard to believe that he suffered to the tune of even $100,000, but then what do I know?

CPB's site is strangely silent about the whole affair. A search in their archives for "Chilton" returns no records. One suspects that they've been chilled.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]