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Stabroek News



Issa fights defamatory statements
published: Sunday | November 16, 2008


John Issa.

Superclubs boss, John Issa, is heading to court to fight "defamatory statements" which have been circulated through email messages.

In court documents filed October 1 in Miami, Florida, Issa is asking the court to award him compensatory damages of an unspecified amount and an award of costs for the suit for false and malicious statements made by Roger Seivright and Valentin Flores. The two are employed to Unique Vacations' information technology department. Seivright's wife, Stanja, is also named alongside him as a defendant in the suit.

Couldn't reach defendants

Efforts to reach Seivright and Flores, as well as Seivright's lawyer, Harley Tropin, last Thursday and Friday were unsuccessful. The Sunday Gleaner was told that neither Seivright nor Flores was in office and our calls were not returned. None of our calls to Tropin were returned either, nor was there any response to an email sent by the reporter.

According to the documents, Issa was able to determine the real identities of the defendants from the Internet service provider (ISP) that issued the email addresses to the defendants. After learning the Internet provider (IP) address of the email sender, he was able to learn which local ISP owned the IP address. The local ISP then provided Issa with information to identify the defendants.

"Between approximately November 1, 2007 and May 13, 2008," the documents said, "The defendants distributed electronic mail (email) messages disparaging Mr Issa, his family and his reputation."

Issa claims in the court documents that the defendants used fictitious names to send email from free Internet-based email services provided by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to communicate the disparaging messages.

Damage to reputation

The SuperClubs boss, according to the court documents, "has incurred actual damages to his reputation and standing in the community as a result of the malicious publication of these false and defamatory statements".

SuperClubs is a major player in the Caribbean tourist industry, with super-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Curaçao and The Bahamas. Among its popular brands are Breezes and Hedonism.

Issa and his family are seeking compensatory damages; "an order requiring each defendant to send all recipients of each defamatory email complained of ... a statement in a form approved by plaintiff to correct the false and misleading impressions" and award of costs of this suit; and, "such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper".


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