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M C S P O T L I G H T
P R E S S . R E L E A S E . 04/11/02
Oprah/Lyman Veggie Libel Suit is Finally Over!
Most people recall seeing (or hearing about) Howard Lyman's appearance on OPRAH on April 16, 1996, when he told the truth (in a few short minutes) about the risk of Mad Cow Disease in the U.S., and Oprah swore off burgers.
When cattle future trends plummeted the next day, a group of Texas cattleranchers blamed Howard & Oprah (even tho it had been up & down all month due to the March 20th Mad Cow announcement in England; high grain prices; a drought; and a lower demand), and sued both of them for libel, asking many millions of dollars in damages.
Beginning in late January, 1998, they all spent 6 weeks in court in Amarillo, TX. Howard & Oprah won the case. The cattlemen filed an appeal, which took 2 years to be settled. Howard & Oprah won the appeal.
MEANWHILE, 161 OTHER cattleranchers, nationwide, filed an identical suit in state court, which was moved into federal court & has been sitting on the judge's desk for about 3 years! But FINALLY, it has been dismissed, as it should have been long ago, being that Howard & Oprah had already won two decisions on this case. We didn't know if this day would ever come!
"Oprah and I have the distinction of being the first individuals sued under the Texas Food Disparagement Act." (from "Mad Cowboy," p. 15)
On August 27, 2002, the final verdict on the most recent appeal by "Cactus Feeders" against Oprah Winfrey and Howard Lyman, to a Federal Court, came in. The lawsuit against Oprah and Howard was "dismissed with prejudice." After almost 6 years and who knows how many millions of dollars in lawyer's fees, the case is over. Oprah and Howard won, and not only that, "Cactus Feeders", et. al., are not permitted to appeal this verdict to a higher court (i.e., the Supreme Court) or pursue the matter any more.
The first lawsuit to test "Food Slander" laws has (finally) ended!
For more history of the case, go to:
MAD COWBOY the documentary,
a project of VOICE FOR A VIABLE FUTURE,
a 501c.3 non-profit organization educating the public on the health,
environmental & ethical benefits of an organic, plant-based diet.
Founded by HOWARD LYMAN, ex-cattlerancher turned vegan, author of:
MAD COWBOY: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat
11288 Ventura Blvd., #202A, Studio City, CA 91604