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Shipyard Brewing Co., LLC v. Logboat Brewing Co., LLC
United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
December 29, 2017
SHIPYARD BREWING COMPANY, LLC, Plaintiff,
LOGBOAT BREWING COMPANY, LLC, et al., Defendants.
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Logboat Brewing Company moves to dismiss Count V of the
Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. Doc. 39.
Plaintiff Shipyard Brewing Company, LLC opposes the motion,
but asks in the alternative for leave to amend. For the
reasons discussed below, Logboat's motion to dismiss
Count V is granted in part, and Shipyard is granted seven
days from the date of this Order in which to file an amended
alleges that it is a craft brewery with registered trademarks
that it uses in connection with its goods and services, most
notably, its varieties of beer. Count V is a claim for
defamation against Logboat. Shipyard alleges in the
“Facts” section of the Amended Complaint:
33. Shortly [after filing this lawsuit on May 15, 2017], one
star reviews begin appearing on Shipyard's Facebook page
from Facebook members living in or near Columbia, Missouri.
Most of the comments referenced the lawsuit. All of the
comments directed negative sentiments towards Shipyard. One
of the commenters appears to be a relative of Logboat
co-founder Judson Ball.
34. Presently, 193 comments appear on Shipyard's Facebook
page. Of those, 189 comments are of the nature described
35. Upon information and belief, Logboat, through its
principals or its agents acting at the encouragement of and
for the benefit of its principals, made defamatory statements
concerning Shipyard to members of the general public as
retribution for Shipyard filing suit.
36. The hundreds of one star reviews on Shipyard's
Facebook page, as well as negative articles in the press, are
a result of Logboat's actions.
37. Such defamatory statements include, but are not limited
to, suggestions that Shipyard is pursuing this lawsuit for
ulterior motives, unsubstantiated claims that Shipyard is a
trademark bully, and general insults concerning
Shipyard's business and the quality of its beers.
Doc. 38, p. 9. Under “Count V-Defamation, ”
82. Logboat, through its principals, or its agents acting at
the encouragement of and for the benefit of its principals,
made defamatory statements as described herein concerning
Shipyard to members of the general public as retribution for
Shipyard filing suit.
83. Logboat was at fault for making such statements.
84. Such statements tended to expose Shipyard to hatred,
contempt, or ridicule, or to deprive Shipyard the benefit of
public confidence, as evidenced in the hundreds of one star
reviews on Shipyard's Facebook page.
85. Logboat's statements were heard by members of the
general public in and around Logboat's location ...
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