Tampa BayTimes.com – A Florida man who used fake news articles to push a bogus medical condition claims he has sued the Tampa-area paper for libel.
The lawsuit filed Monday in federal court alleges that the Times and its publisher, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are liable for violating his First Amendment right to “freedom of speech and expression,” the Tampa Tribune reported.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Florida on behalf of the Tampa City Council, the Tampa Sports Commission, the Times, and its general counsel, David Tashnick, the Tribune reported Tuesday.
Tashnick could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
The Tampa Bay Tribune reported that the suit names the Times for publication of false claims and for failing to correct the articles.
The newspaper said it published articles about a man who developed skin cancer and a man with a heart condition and said the man had a “complex medical condition” that caused him to be unable to drive.
The man also said his wife suffered from “cancer and heart disease,” the newspaper said.
Tampa Bay Times President, Mark Loebsack, told the Tampa Herald-Tribune in June that the paper would not publish the articles unless the council agreed to them.