In June 2017, Pregame LLC and Randall James Busack (a.k.a. RJ Bell), led by their attorney Charles Harder, filed a suit against Gizmodo Media Group for a Deadspin story published in June 2016.
Below is a statement from Gizmodo Media Group spokesperson David Ford regarding today’s ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein:
The ruling by the court today reinforces our belief that this lawsuit was without merit and should not have been brought in the first place. Fearless, rigorous journalism is core to a democratic society and this suit was clearly nothing more than a part of an ongoing attempt by Charles Harder and others to chill strong, investigative reporting through personal attacks and intimidation of journalists. We continue to believe that Ryan Goldberg is also protected by the third-party release and injunction set forth in Gawker’s confirmed chapter 11 plan. Our company will continue to stand with and support him.
Gizmodo Media provided the following statement about the suit in August 2017:
This meritless lawsuit should not have been brought in the first place and it is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate journalists. The Deadspin article in question was published by Gawker Media on June 23, 2016─months before GMG acquired certain assets of Gawker Media as part of a bankruptcy sale. GMG made its acquisition free and clear of any claims arising from content published by the previous owner. Given the clear terms of the asset purchase agreement that was approved by the bankruptcy court, we believe the claims against GMG should be quickly dismissed. GMG is also supporting Ryan Goldberg, the reporter of the article in question.