SANATOGA PA – A 6-year-old Montgomery County court battle involving allegations that Sanatoga-based Bursich Associates and its president, Scott Exley, were defamed by a document distributed by another Pottstown businessman may have been decided last month by a jury trial, but the legal drama isn’t yet over, The (Pottstown PA) Mercury reported Wednesday (Sept. 5, 2012).
A jury in an Aug. 9 verdict from Norristown determined Exley and the engineering and surveying business he oversees were not defamed by defendant David W. Fisher of Pottstown, when Fisher distributed a parody of The Mercury with contents critical of Exley and his firm. The suit sought a damage award of more than $50,000.
The lawsuit claimed Exley endured “impairment of his reputation in the community, personal humiliation, mental anguish and suffering” from the parody, according to the newspaper report. Bursich additionally said Fisher’s alleged actions were done “intentionally and, at a minimum, in a reckless fashion” and negatively affected the company’s reputation in the community, The Mercury added.
The jury’s disagreement in both instances, however, has not ended the fight.
Bursich and Exley have gone back to court to seek the entry of a judgment in their favor nonetheless, and to ask for a new trial on damages. They contend the trial judge erred “by failing to direct a verdict in their favor on the issue of defamation, based upon evidence presented at trial,” The Mercury reported. Fisher is fighting the post-trial request, it added.
Written legal briefs on the matter are due from Exley and Bursich by Nov. 9; a written response from Fisher, by Dec. 10. Arguments are tentatively scheduled to be heard Dec. 19.
- Read a story by reporter Carl Hessler Jr., titled “Pottstown area businessmen appeal ‘The Merky’ publication no-defamation verdict” and published Wednesday in The Mercury, here.
Photo by Douglas Muth via Wikimedia