PIKEVILLE — A lawsuit filed Aug. 16 in U.S. District Court alleges that a Harlan County mining company with operations in Pike County was defamed in internet postings and verbal statements to potential investors.
Black Fire Mining LLC, Gill Steven Brown and Nicholas Stodin filed the complaint against Garth Myers, Jason Bedasse and Tallakoy LP, alleging that the defendants’ actions have caused harm to Black Fire’s reputation and cost the company money.
According to the complaint, the defendants allegedly made the claims against Black Fire, Brown and Stodin in Wordpress blog posts, in which they accused Stodin of being a “paper creator, liar, thief and unscrupulous criminal.” Of Black Fire, the posts reported said, “The mines you are approached on may go under, Heller Mine, Hellcat, GEF, all scams and part of bilking investors out of their hard earned money.”
The complaint notes that Black Fire, Brown and Stodin made written demands that the posts be removed, but “the aforementioned internet publication is still being published.”
The complaint also accuses the defendants of making similar statements in person to existing and potential Black Fire investors and alleges that the defendants’ actions interfered with Black Fire’s business dealings.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for “humiliation, emotional distress, mental anguish, embarrassment, loss of goodwill, loss of business opportunities and loss of profits, damage to reputation and character, past, present and future,” as well as punitive damages, attorney fees and interest.