Broker drops suit against Prodigy over anonymous statements
NEW YORK–Stratton Oakmont Inc., a Long Island brokerage firm, agreed to drop its $200 million libel suit against Prodigy, an online service, in late October.
The firm also agreed not to oppose Prodigy’s efforts to have the Supreme Court — New York’s trial-level court — in Mineola overturn its May ruling that Prodigy is a publisher, not merely a distributor, of its electronic bulletin boards. As a publisher, the court held that Prodigy could be found liable for the accuracy of comments posted by its users. A decision by the court is expected by mid-November.
As part of the settlement, Prodigy stated it was sorry if statements made on its bulletin board “by an unauthorized and unidentified individual in any way caused injury to [the plaintiffs’] reputation.”
Prodigy’s attorneys said that the statement is not an apology because Prodigy is not accepting any responsibility for harming Stratton Oakmont.
The lawsuit was prompted by anonymous statements on Prodigy’s “Money Talk” bulletin board that accused the brokerage firm and its president of criminal and fraudulent acts. (Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co.; Media Counsel: Martin Garbus and David Atlas, New York City)