Home Economy Court Summons Mittal Steel For US$10M Damages

Court Summons Mittal Steel For US$10M Damages

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By E. Geedahgar Garsuah, Sr.

MONROVIA: The Civil Law Court, Six Judicial Circuit Court for Montserrado County, sitting in its December Term of Court, under the gavel of Presiding Judge J. Kennedy Peabody has summoned Arcelor-Mittal as the first defendant alongside four co-defendants to answer to a complaint of “Damages of Wrong” lawsuit filed by the Publisher of the Concord Times Newspaper, Mr. Lyndon J. Ponnie, in the tone of US$10m.

The Civil Court’s writ of summon directed at Arcelor Mittal via its Chief Executive Officer, Scott Lowe, stemmed from claims made by the online publisher of the Concord Times Newspaper that Arcelor Mittal caused the arbitrary and illegal shut down of his paper’s website.

The Publisher of the Concord Times Newspaper, Ponnie is seeking the court’s intervention to ensure Arcelor Mittal pays an amount of US$10m for what the plaintiff considered as special damages for the loss of advertising revenue and other business related commitments owing to the steel giant’s alleged arbitrary and forceful action of shutting down its official website.

Arcelor Mittal co-defendants include; Schillings by and thru its Chief Executive Officer, General Manager of 12th Arthur Street, London EC4R 9AB, LiquidNet Limited of 13 Craigleith, 7 Kerfiled Road, London SW15 3HN, Flower Techologies Hall Farm House, Bricklehampton, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 3HQ and Delamous Communication, Inc. and all of its authorized officers.

The Concord Times lawsuit for “Damages for Wrong” against Arcelor Mittal and its co-defendants which prompted the Civil Law Court issuance of a writ of summon entreats the defendants to file a formal response to the lawsuit while both parties prepare for litigation proceedings in the December 2022 Term of Court.

The Civil Law Court writ of summon has informed management of Arcelor Mittal to file its response to the allegation while ordering the defendant that failure to do so would lead the court to grant in the favor of the plaintiff, “judgment by default.”

The plaintiff (Concord Times Newspaper), in its lawsuit accused Arcelor Mittal of instructing its London-based operative to shut down its webpage on grounds that the media outlet had published series of news stories on Arcelor Mittal’s operations in Liberia which the plaintiff said the first defendant (Arcelor Mittal) termed as distasteful, erroneous and inimical to the company’s image and survival.

According to the plaintiff, its official website was shut down and has remained inactive for over one year now, after several failed attempts by Arcelor Mittal to have the Concord Times bring down news contents which they (Arcelor Mittal) deemed detrimental to its operations in Liberia.

The online publisher of the Concord Times Newspaper (Mr. Ponnie) disclosed in his affidavit to the court that Arcelor Mittal demanded that the news articles be brought down, a demand Mr. Lyndon J. Ponnie, said he rejected on grounds that news article were products of thorough investigation covering several years.

The plaintiff, in its complaint to the Civil Court mentioned that series of news articles hosted on its website delved into how Arcelor Mittal reportedly outsmarted numerous competitors and emerged winner of the bid for concession operations in Liberia.

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