A United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, has dismissed a defamation suit brought before it by the Member of Parliament for Assin Central against US-based Ghanaian journalist, Kevin Taylor and his media company, Loud silence.
Kennedy Agyapong sought USD $9.5 million dollars in damages awarded against Mr. Taylor.
A fifteen-paged court document filed at the District Court said the MP’s suit was influenced by a series of “false and defamatory statements in a series of videos and an email correspondence published by Defendants (Kevin Taylor and Loud Silence Media) via Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms about Plaintiff.”
It said the defendant, Kevin Taylor, and his organization had on several occasions referred to the plaintiff as a “murderer, drug dealer, and drug addict, thief, and green card fraudster”.
The legislator sought seven (7) reliefs from the Virginia court, including an injunction prohibiting Kevin Taylor and his organization from posting on any media outlet any further defamatory remarks and an apology from the latter.
But the Judge who sat on the case, Honourable Liam O’Grady in his ruling suggested that Mr. Agyapong has no basis for demanding $9.5 million dollars in damages awarded to him.
He said Mr. Agyapong failed to truly prove that the comments made by Mr. Taylor were defamatory.
His case has thus been thrown out.
Mr. Agyapong has however been given a 60-day window to appeal the judgment if he wishes.
“It is undisputed that Agyapong is a public figure and Taylor’s statements were made regarding matters of public concern. The Amended Complaint does not plead any factual material that demonstrates Taylor’s disputed statements were published with actual malice.”
“Therefore, Agyapong has not adequately plead an actionable claim. Further, the Amended Complaint does not plausibly state a claim under the Virginia Computer Crimes Act. For these reasons, the Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint (Dkt. 13) is GRANTED and the above captioned civil action is DISMISSED. The Plaintiff has 60 days to file a Second Amended Complaint if that filing would meet the requirements discussed in this Order,” the Court ruled.
Kevin Taylor is widely known for his style of journalism for which many have commended him, as much as others condemn the approach.