Ninth Circuit Reinstates Defamation Lawsuit Over Claim that $750K Painting Was Fake
From Gerald Peters Gallery, Inc. v. Stremmel (nonprecedential), decided Friday by Circuit Judges Richard Paez and Johnnie Rawlinson and District Judge George Wu:
Gerald Peters Gallery, Inc. and Gerald Peters … (collectively, “Appellants”) appeal from a summary judgment order and judgment entered against them in this defamation/business disparagement action, which they brought against Peter Stremmel …, Stremmel Galleries, Ltd., Mike Overby and Coeur D’Alene Art Auction of Nevada, L.L.C. (collectively, “Appellees”)….
This case involves the sale, by Appellants, of a painting titled “The Rain and the Sun,” represented to be by Frank Tenney Johnson (“Painting”), that was purchased by R. D. Hubbard (“Hubbard”). When a question arose as to the Painting’s authenticity, one of Hubbard’s associates sent images of the Painting to Stremmel, who in a series of emails made comments such as: (1) “Mike Overby and I” “are absolutely certain” “that [the Painting] is not in fact by Frank Tenn
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