Can you be sued for internet messages? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Can you be sued for internet messages?

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September 16, 2002

Crisp County- A case before the Georgia Supreme Court may soon decide what you can legally say on the internet.

Crisp County hog farmer Bruce Mathis is being sued for one million dollars for a message he posted on a yahoo message board. It was about Transwaste's, now called Allied Waste's, Landfill in Crisp County. Mathis called a company executive a 'thief' and a 'crook'.

"It goes on all the time, so it shocked me," Mathis said. "Surprised it went this far."

The court will decide whether the case can go to trial. If Mathis's web posting is found libelous, he says there's no way he could pay the one million dollars. He says right now he's struggling to pay a $40,000 legal bill.

posted at 6:20 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com