Posted by Lehigh Valley Ramblings.
As most of you are aware, I filed a defamation lawsuit against West Easton gun nut Tricia Mezzacappa last April. In December, Judge Edward Smith ruled that the case could move forward. “Contrary to Mezzacappa’s contention, these statements do not merely appear to be expressions of non-actionable opinion. Instead, these statements not only appear to be defamatory, they appear to be defamatory per se.” He rejected her First Amendment defense, too. “[W]e cannot agree with Mezzacappa that all of the contested statements in this case raise matters of public concern as the overwhelming majority of the statements involve O’Hare’s interaction with Mezzacappa, her property, and her pig.”
I filed an Amended Complaint, including some additional defamatory remarks made by Mezzacappa during the intervening period, and waited for an answer. There was none. At this point, my attorney, Rick Orloski, served Mezzacappa with a Notice of Intention to Enter Judgment by Default. Still no answer.
Judge Anthony Beltrami, reviewing the file, concluded that Mezzacappa was in default and I could enter judgment on the issue of liability. So I did.
The very next day, Mezzacappa filed preliminary objections. She claimed her failure to respond earlier was the result of “non-negligent circumstances,” but fails to set them out.
This matter was placed on the argument list on September 3. The next day, Judge Kimberly McFadden issued an order dismissing Mezzacappa’s preliminary objections, finding they are both “patently untimely” and moot.
On her blog, Mezzacappa has attempted to mislead readers by asserting that the libel case was “Was Tossed Out of Court, Lock Stock and Barrel.”
Judge McFadden appears to have a different view.
We will now ask the Court to assess damages against Mezzacappa. All of her republications of defamation, including those made on WGPA, will be introduced to establish punitive damages.
She’s lost. The only question remaining now is how much she will have to pay a Plaintiff she has continued to defame and an attorney she has repeatedly disparaged.