Controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson has named Gawker Media, parent company of the popular game blog Kotaku, in a lawsuit before a federal court in Florida.
Thompson’s ire was apparently raised by Kotaku reader comments which the attorney maintains are threatening. He also alleges in the complaint that Kotaku and Gawker declined to remove the posts in question. Those messages were posted in response to Kotaku’s coverage of Thompson’s claims that video games prompted last week’s Virginia Tech massacre.
The Gawker suit is actually an amendment to an action Thompson filed on March 13th against the Florida bar. On April 11th he amended it to include the members of the Florida Supreme Court. And now Gawker joins the list of defendants.
This morning a Gawker attorney e-mailed Thompson, citing the case of Zeran vs. AOL and writing:
It is clear from the context of these comments that they are hyperbole, and not an incitement to violence, imminent or otherwise.
Earlier in the week Thompson reported Kotaku to the Denver Field Office of the FBI as well as the Denver Police Department. This morning he contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, where Gawker is headquartered. It is unknown what type of response, if any, he received from those agencies. He also complained about the matter to Levi Strauss, Inc., a Kotaku advertiser.
Kotaku editor Brian Crecente declined to comment on the lawsuit. The judge in the case, Paul C. Huck, threw out an earlier Thompson suit against the Florida Bar in December, citing at the time what he referred to as Thompson’s “wild accusations of a vast conspiracy.”
UPDATE: The Law of the Game legal blog has an analysis of Thompson’s complaint. Attorney Mark Methenitis concludes:
While many of [Thompson’s] claims are relatively novel, they also seem to be relatively poorly constructed as a way to include a blog he particularly dislikes.