Aster Graphics Files Libel Lawsuit
California-based Aster Graphics, which manufactures and distributes third-party printer consumables such as toner cartridges, has filed a libel lawsuit against Steven Giannetta and other un-named persons, alleging that Giannetta “posted numerous false and defamatory articles” about Aster Graphics on the TonerNews.com website and on his LinkedIn account.
Aster alleges that Giannetta falsely stated that Aster is a “Toner Cloner” and sells toxic
toner cartridges, and that Aster sells its products directly to the consumer through multiple brands and accounts on Amazon (see here for one such article).
In its complaint, Aster stated that these statements are false, as its products are manufactured in compliance with all statutes and regulations, and that it never sold any of its products directly on Amazon. Instead, it stated that all of the brands and accounts Giannetta referred to in his articles are owned or controlled by different entities.
The lawsuit was filed this week in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, and alleges trade libel, defamation, and false light.
Aster stated that it suffered direct financial harm from Giannetta’s statement as “customers, perspective customers, and retailers ceased purchasing products or doing business with Plaintiff in reliance of the statements.” It is consequently seeking not-less than $1 million in damages, as well as “Corrective advertising in which Defendant must communicate to Plaintiff’s customers that the referenced representations were falsely made.”
In its lawsuit, Aster states that the false and defamatory statements made by Giannetta “were made with actual malice because he either knew of their falsity or made the statements with reckless disregard of their truth or falsity.” The lawsuit also stated that “in making the defamatory statements, Defendant acted intentionally, maliciously, willfully, and with the intent to injure” Aster Graphics also stated that it’s been harmed by “the economic value in goodwill and its reputation that it had built over many years in the industry.”
Aster has also indicated that it may sue the publisher of Giannetta’s articles, TonerNews.com, in the state of Florida.