Lawsuit over HuffPost's origins will proceed, but CEO Armstrong won't be questioned

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Like The Huffington Post’s annual What Time Is the Super Bowl? page, Peter Daou and James Boyce’s suit asserting they’d helped start the site just won't die.

New York Supreme Court Judge Charles Ramos Wednesday ordered Arianna Huffington, Ken Lerer and the Huffington Post to answer the Democratic consultants' complaint, which charges that they'd written documents that became the framework for the site.

Ramos also quashed a subpoena Doau and Boyce's lawyers hoped to issue to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. Armstrong engineered AOL's purchase of The Huffington Post in February 2011 but was not an original founder of the site. The plaintiffs "have not demonstrated that Armstrong had any information other than that of his company, AOL, regarding the reasons for purchasing the Huffington Post," Ramos wrote.

He allowed a fraud claim to proceed: "Plaintiffs have adequately alleged that defendants took the information that plaintiffs provided, secretly shared it with another person, camouflaged the origin to make it appear as it came from that other person and, in effect, stole the idea and developed it with that other person,” Jeff John Roberts reports.

Huffington et al. will have to answer the amended complaint within 20 days, Ramos ordered. A Huffington Post spokesperson told Roberts the charges against the founders are "make believe."

In other Huffington Post news, CEO Jimmy Maymann told Beet.TV the company was considering moving its HuffPost Live franchise onto cable television.

Previously: Democratic consultants accuse Huffington of stealing their idea | Huffington Post: Vanity Fair should have killed ‘nonstory’ about lawsuit | Lawsuit over Huffington Post origins can go to trial | Plaintiffs in HuffPo origins suit say founders actively covered up their involvement

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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