The remedy for thin skin is thicker skin, not a lawsuit, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick successfully argued in Court on behalf of celebrity defendants Cardi B; her sister, Hennessy Carolina; and her sister’s girlfriend, Michelle Diaz.
After hearing a string of “bad words” and obvious hyperboles exchanged on the beach during Labor Day weekend 2020, three beachgoers decided to seek a windfall by commencing a libel lawsuit against the famous entertainer, her sister, and her sister’s girlfriend.
CMM’s litigation team, led by Senior Partner Patrick McCormick with support from Senior Associate Richard DeMaio, moved to dismiss the complaint and prevailed in a decision dated March 25, exposing the lawsuit for the money grab that it was. The frivolous complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court, Suffolk County, sought damages for a convenient mix of assault, battery, libel, slander, and civil rights violations – critically, not based on what the defendants allegedly said, but what they allegedly posted online following the incident at the beach.
The Court granted CMM’s motion to dismiss in its entirety, finding that “Cardi B’s activities as related to her celebrity status do not establish activities that are purposeful and there is no substantial relationship between the incident that occurred…and the claims being asserted.” Judge William Condon wrote in his decision that the plaintiffs “failed to allege any special harm or defamation…they cannot specifically identify who the defamatory statements were made to.” The Court found that the allegedly defamatory words “do not arise to defamatory language as they were merely general insults.” The assault claim similarly failed due to the absence of any physical conduct or menacing gestures, as did the battery claim due to the lack of bodily contact made with intent.
“We’re very pleased for Cardi B that the Court saw this lawsuit for what it was: a celebrity shakedown,” CMM’s McCormick told Rolling Stone. “The claims had no merit whatsoever and were an obvious attempt to exploit the system for monetary gain. As we argued before the Court, the remedy for thin skin is thicker skin, not litigation. Today’s outcome should help deter others from using frivolous claims as a money grab.”
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