Intercon and BAN defamation battle rolls forward

Intercon and BAN battle goes forward

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

A federal judge has ruled that Intercon Solutions' defamation lawsuit against the Basel Action Network (BAN) can proceed, a decision both parties used as a springboard to further criticize one another.

In her ruling Judge Virginia Kendall of the United States District Court in Chicago made two key decisions. The first was to deny BAN's request to have the entire case tossed out. The second was the dismissal of BAN's countersuit against Intercon: Judge Kendall stated, "The issues raised in BAN’s Counterclaim […] will be resolved via ligation" of Intercon's current suit and BAN's defense.

Immediately following Judge Kendall's ruling, Intercon issued a press release heralding the news as an early victory for the firm. Referencing BAN President Jim Puckett, Intercon stated, "Judge Kendall held that very specific statements in Puckett's letter, the BAN press release and Evidentiary Report constitute factual statements that are defamatory, despite BAN's claims that their statements were only statements of opinion."

In a statement, Puckett called Intercon's claims "false and a complete misreading of the Judge's decision," adding that "the judge simply ruled the case can move forward."

Both sides expressed confidence they would eventually prevail.

The controversy began in June 2011 when BAN denied Intercon Solutions e-Stewards certification, alleging that the company had illegally exported two shipments of electronics. Intercon denied the claims, BAN provided what it called documentary and photographic evidence of Intercon's wrongdoing, and a year later Intercon filed a defamation lawsuit. BAN then fired back with its now-dismissed countersuit.

Intercon's case against BAN continues with a hearing scheduled for Sept. 9, 2013.

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