Wikipedia editors are hit with $10 million defamation lawsuit

Posted Jun 26, 2014

There are four Wikipedia editors that have been named in a $10 million lawsuit by a Canadian businessman in regards to his page. The lawsuit was filed on June 11th and it claims that the four editors conspired to tarnish the name of the entrepreneur, musician, and philanthropist named Yank Barry. Barry claims wrongful conduct, defamation, and invasion of privacy.

The four people named in the lawsuit were Richard Fife, Nate Gertler, Ethan Urbanik, and John Nagle. Based in Montreal, Barry founded VitaPro Foods in the 1980s. VitaPro creates vegetable protein that helps cut down worldwide meat consumption.

Barry and Texas Department of Criminal Justice head James Collins were convicted of a kickback scheme that involved VitaPro and Texas prisons in the mid-1990s, according to DailyDot. The jurors convicted Collins of taking at least $20,000 from VitaPro Foods in exchange for pushing a five-year $33.7 million contract to distribute soy-based granular substance to Texas inmates to cut down on food costs.

Barry was convicted of bribery, conspiracy, and money laundering for allegedly paying the bribes. Collins and Barry were acquitted in 2005. The Wikipedia lawsuit cites 31 different entries made on Barry’s Wikipedia page that he is considering as erroneous and ?defamatory.?

In the talk section of Barry’s Wikipedia page, Ganbarreh wrote that Fife ?made a clear statement about his agenda to maintain defamatory material on the subjects page in order to cause financial harm and threaten the subjects livelihood.?

Fife said that this was not his “finest wikipedia moment” and his edit was intended to prepare for large amounts of edits biased towards the positive to the article.

Barry said that he tried to resolve many of the issues with the page diplomatically, but was forced to take legal action. Barry believed that his Wikipedia page was so false and made him sound like a terrible person. He believed that it caused deals to fall through.

[Image Credit: Wikipedia]