Planet Aid Files Appeal of Anti-SLAPP Ruling to Ninth Circuit Federal Court

November 22, 2021

Review the brief on appeal here

Planet Aid has appealed a lower court ruling that dismissed its libel and defamation lawsuit against Reveal News for publishing false allegations about its foreign development programs in Malawi.

Last spring a federal judge in California found that Planet Aid had sustained its burden of proof showing that Reveal News had published 46 false statements about Planet Aid and DAPP Malawi. The judge found that, contrary to the stories Reveal published, there was no diversion of donor funds, and that all funds were accounted for and went to the intended projects.

However, despite finding that Reveal had published 46 damaging and harmful falsehoods about Planet Aid’s foreign development work for the United States Government, the lower court ruled that Planet Aid had not met the burden of demonstrating that Reveal and its journalists acted with “actual malice” in publishing as facts things that they knew were not true and, in fact, were impossible.

Planet Aid is confident the judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal will properly analyze both Federal and California law as it relates to determining that Planet Aid should be allowed to continue to trial where it will prove to a jury that Reveal published statements that it knew to be false and damaging with reckless disregard for the truth.

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