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California developer sues for libel over blog comments

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  1. Libel and Privacy
A California real estate developer is suing a blogger and a host of unknown critics who commented on a Web news article…

A California real estate developer is suing a blogger and a host of unknown critics who commented on a Web news article for, among other things, saying he is "dishonest" and a "slum lord."

Those particularly disparaging remarks were tacked below a March 2006 story on blogdowntown.com about developer Barry Shy. According to the blog, the only two named defendants in Shy’s suit are residents of his SB Grand lofts, one of whom hosts a separate blog which she says aims to "inspire positive change" in the building by targeting issues of concern for management.  

But Shy alleges in his lawsuit that SB Grand homeowner Jessica Jordan actually used her blog, truedowntown.com, to publish false statements in hopes of "discouraging prospective tenants and purchasers from moving into the building," according to blogdowntown.

Shy also claims that comments like "Barry Shy is a horrible business man with no principals" on the 2006 blogdowntown story amounted to libel and slander. He says in the suit he will identify the remaining defendants — those who were behind those comments, presumably — when he figures out who they are.