The plaintiff, Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd., is in the business of selling and servicing automobiles. The defendant, Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., operates a
The plaintiff, Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd., is in the business of selling and servicing automobiles. The defendant, Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., operates a Web site where consumers can comment on the quality of goods and services, including those at Nemet Chevrolet. Nemet felt that several of the postings on the defendant’s Web site were false and harmful to its business reputation, so it filed suit alleging defamation. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, under Federal Rule 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. According to the defendant, the statements on its Web site are protected by the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), which prevents plaintiffs from holding Internet service providers liable for the publication of information created and developed by others. The district court granted the motion with leave to amend the complaint. The plaintiff amended, but the defendant filed another 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. The district court again granted the dismissal. The plaintiff appealed.
1. Identify the court’s conclusion in Case 12-2.
Clue: Reread the final paragraph of the court’s decision.
2. What are the reasons the court provides to support this conclusion?
Clue: Look at the court’s application of the Communications Decency Act.
3. To demonstrate the significance of primary ethical norms in court decisions such as this one, identify the ethical norm that would have reversed this decision.
Clue: This norm is related to prioritizing the plaintiff’s rights over those of the defendant in cases such as Case 12-2.
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