Brodeur v. Atlas Entm't, Inc.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff Paul Brodeur is a well-known author in the environmental field, pointing out health dangers of the use of various electrical devices and other household items. Defendants are producers and distributors of the motion picture American Hustle. A character in the film, Rosalyn, says that she read, in a magazine article by plaintiff, that a microwave oven takes all of the nutrition out of food. Based on Rosalyn's statement, plaintiff filed suit alleging causes of action for libel, defamation, slander and false light, asserting that he had never made the quoted statement. Plaintiff further alleged that, by misquoting him, defendants suggested to the movie audience that he made a scientifically unsupportable statement, damaging his reputation. The court held that plaintiff‘s causes of action arise from defendants‘ protected activity within the meaning of the anti-SLAPP statute, Code Civ. Proc. 425.16, subd.(b)(1), where plaintiff, by his own account, is a public figure, and the views expressed in his pioneering articles on the health hazards associated with exposure to microwave radiation were plainly a matter of public interest in the 1970‘s. Further, plaintiff's claims that the government safety standard for microwave ovens was inadequate have been rejected by numerous authorities. The court also concluded that plaintiff has failed to produce admissible evidence that, as his unverified complaint alleges, he has never written an article or ever declared in any way that a microwave takes all the nutrition out of food. Accordingly, the court reversed the order denying the motion to strike.