The Van Dyke Law Firm
Constance M. Pendleton
Davis, Wright, Tremaine LLP
1919 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Ste. 800
Washington D.C. 20006
Re: Notice of Representation
Dear Ms. Pendleton:
This firm has been retained by David Carothers with respect to an article published by your client, The Huffington Post, on or around August 28, 2018. A copy of this article, as it was originally published, is attached to this letter together with a tweet concerning the story (sent by the author of the article).
The facts of my client's case are not the subject of any legitimate dispute. The Huffington Post is a "news" organization with a well-known reputation for publishing false "news" stories libeling conservatives. Many people, including myself, have been the victims of shoddy reporting by the Huffington Post over the course of the past several years. The various hit pieces published by the Huffington Post all have two things in common: poor fact checking and zero journalistic integrity.
In this particular instance, Mr. Carothers was accused of being the same person as John Daniel Carothers - a person accused of a vicious hate crime in Tennessee. This accusation meets the statutory definition of libel in Georgia: "a false and malicious defamation of another, expressed in print, writing, pictures, or signs, tending to injure the reputation of the person and exposing him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule." In this particular instance, Mr. Mathias attributed a hate crime to Mr. Carothers that, in fact, Mr. Carothers had nothing to do with. Mr. Mathias also took the occasions of this false allegation to take note of the criminal history of Mr. Carothers' son - Michael Weaver.
Mr. Carothers is mindful of the fact that The Huffington Post was able to correct the story within the time provided under O.C.G.A. 51-5-11. This does not, however, change Mr. Carothers' entitlement to actual damages for libel resulting from the initial publication of this story because the published content is defamation per se. Georgia courts have routinely interpreted defamation per se to include statements "that one is guilty of a crime, dishonesty, or immorality." Eidson v. Berry, 415 S.E.2d 16, 17 (Ga. Ct. App. 1992). As you are aware, it is not necessary for a person that has been a victim of defamation per se to prove actual out of pocket loss. In short, both The Huffington Post and Mr. Mathias are liable to Mr. Carothers for damages.
My client has authorized me to settle this matter with The Huffington Post for a one-time payment in the amount of $30,000.00 in full accord and satisfaction of all damages that he has suffered, or which he may suffer, as a result of the story published by The Huffington Post.
Please have your general counsel contact me at his earliest convenience to discuss settlement, or in the alternative, to arrange service of legal process.
Very truly yours,
Jason L. Van Dyke
Attorney & Counselor at Law
108 Durango Drive
Crossroads, TX 76227
P – (469) 964-5346
F – (972) 421-1830
Licensed in: Texas, Colorado, Georgia & Washington D.C.