YPC Weekly Newsletter

2012


SUIT OF ARRHYTHMIC-CARDIOLOGICAL CENTER VERSUS NEWS.AM FOUNDER DISMISSED

On December 14, the Court of General Jurisdiction of Achapnyak and Davitashen administrative districts of Yerevan dismissed  the suit of “Arrhythmic-Cardiological Center of Armenia” LLC (ACCA) versus the founder of online news agency News.am, “Media Consult” LLC (now – “News.am” LLC). As we have reported, the reason for going to law became the article “The Patient with a Diseased Heart Was “Puffed” at the Arrhythmic-Cardiological Center and Has Been Implanted with Another Device”, stored on News.am on November 23, 2010. The article told the story of the reader H.K., who alleged that he had been cheated at the Cardiological Center, since the doctors had implanted an electric cardiostimulator, cheaper and with a shorter warranty period than the one he had been promised before the surgery. The plaintiff demanded to refute the information that discredited his honor, dignity and business reputation, as well as to compensate the moral loss in the amount of 2 million AMD (about $ 5,500). The hearings on the case started on February 4, 2011. The story of H.K. was also published in “Aravot” daily, “Paying for 10 Years of Life, Got – Seven”, November 13, 2010. The ACCA had also contested this article, imposing the same demands to the “Aravot” founder, “Aravot Oratert” LLC. On November 3, 2011 the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan approved the friendly settlement between the parties (see details in “On Freedom of Speech in Armenia” Yerevan Press Club report for 2011 at http://www.ypc.am/about_freedom/ln/eng).

At the December 14, 2012 session, the Court dismissed the suit versus News.am as groundless. The Court particularly stated that the respondent is exempt of liability, since the disputed article contained a reference to the information source and was a verbatim reproduction from it. Besides, the Court stressed that the one-month term defined by law for submitting the suit was missed. The Court bound the ACCA to pay off the state duty (44,000 AMD) and the respondent’s costs for the attorney (200,000 AMD).