Yesterday, KnifeNews obtained Pennsylvania court documents that show Anthony Marfione and Microtech are suing KAI U.S.A., Ltd. and Kale Beyer, KAI’s Social Media Manager. The suit includes allegations that KAI and Beyer defamed Marfione and Microtech by sharing Everyday Commentary’s blog post “The Story Behind the Greatest Knife of All Time.” Earlier this week, we learned that Marfione and Microtech filed a similar lawsuit against blogger Anthony Sculimbrene of Everyday Commentary for publishing the post in the first place.
The complaint against KAI and Beyer points out that on January 23rd KAI shared “The Story Behind the Greatest Knife of All Time” on Zero Tolerance and the Kershaw social media channels, an act which it cites as examples of republishing defamatory material against Marfione and Microtech. On January 23rd, Beyer also posted Sculimbrene’s article on his personal Instagram account.
According to the complaint, “Beyer intended to benefit KAI and himself economically by the republication” and “intended and expected to harm Marfione and Microtech by the republication.” It continues, claiming that “Beyer expressly and wrongfully stated that the Sculimbrene article contained ‘the whole backstory’ ” and that he “uttered, published, and distributed defamatory statements as to Marfione.”
Microtech states that it “has and will experience financial loss as a result of Beyer’s false statements.” The claim also asserts that Beyer’s posts were “done with the apparent authority and approval of KAI,” and thus “KAI is vicariously liable for the conduct of Beyer.”
On April the 4th, KAI filed a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that sharing a post via social media does not qualify as “republishing,” and that there is no presence of malice on behalf of KAI. Beyer filed a similar motion but added Lack of Personal Jurisdiction as rationale for dismissing the case.
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The Pennsylvania case is moving to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) phase. ADR is a mandatory process that requires parties to try to settle civil disputes. KAI and Marfione are scheduled to meet on May 9th with an independent mediator. If the parties aren’t able to reach an agreement within 60 days the case may proceed to trial.
KnifeNews also obtained more documents concerning the lawsuit against blogger Anthony Sculimbrene. Marfione and Sculimbrene will meet today as part of their court ordered ADR mediation conference.
Knife featured in image: Marfione Custom Knives Matrix R