Back in April, an employee walkout temporarily shuttered popular Park Slope coffee shop Gorilla Coffee. During the walk out, disgruntled employees sent letters to the press recounting how they were mistreated by management. The Times, being a news outlet, included the letter in the coverage. So two months ago, long after the walkout, Gorilla Coffee decided the right move was to sue the paper, its writer Oliver Strand, and the employees for libel.
Obviously, the suit is bunk. And a new filing from the Times calling for a dismissal of the case calls out exactly why it's bunk. The motion states:
...through this lawsuit management—while undoubtedly happy that the newspaper published its side of events—seeks to punish the Times for telling the public what the workers were saying. Not surprisingly, neither the state nor the federal constitution nor the law of libel allows the plaintiffs to do that—to use civil litigation to silence newspapers that publish opinions they disagree with.Read the motion in full below.