Judge Dismisses Microtech vs. KAI Lawsuit

The U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania has dismissed Microtech’s lawsuit against KAI USA Ltd. Microtech filed the suit in the wake of a story published by Anthony Sculimbrene of Everyday Commentary called “The Greatest Knife of All Time.”

In January 2017, Microtech filed a defamation suit against Sculimbrene, and in its subsequent complaint against KAI pointed out that on January 23rd the company shared Sculimbrene’s story on the Zero Tolerance and Kershaw social media channels.

Pennsylvania-based Microtech considered this action as defamatory against the company and its owner Anthony Marfione. Microtech also filed suit against KAI’s Kale Beyer. Beyer was KAI’s Social Media Manager at the time of the incident and is alleged to have shared Sculimbrene’s post via the company’s social media accounts as well as on his personal social media account.

In early May 2017, Microtech received email communications between Sculimbrene and KAI Director of Sales & Marketing, Thomas Welk as part of its settlement with the blogger. Upon acquiring these documents, Microtech amended its lawsuit against KAI to include additional counts that claimed KAI had assisted in the creation of Sculimbrene’s article.

In her decision, Judge Barbara J. Rothstein writes that among the email communications “there is no indication that Welk knew, let alone encouraged, Sculimbrene to include [the ‘Natrix’ name, a genus of grass snake] or anything else in his upcoming Article.” Furthermore, she points out that under the law, reposting something another individual wrote is not the same as writing it. “Under the ‘Good Samaritan’ provision of the Communications Decency Act…a ‘provider or [a] user of an interactive computer service’ may not be treated as the ‘publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.’”

In the case of its suit against KAI, Microtech was granted leave to file for reconsideration if they can produce additional evidence in support of their claims. “The Judge has provided us with the option of introducing more evidence, and we’re considering what our next steps will be,” Microtech’s General Counsel Daniel Lawson tells us. If Microtech chooses to forge ahead, they have until April 6, 2018 to file with the court.

Judge Rothstein also dismissed the case against Kale Beyer due to Lack of Personal Jurisdiction. Beyer is no longer with the company.

Knife featured in image: Kershaw Natrix