On the 28th, the New York State Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit brought by Newsweek against Olivet University, World Olivet Assembly and other parties. The court determined that Newsweek had erred in filing the lawsuit in violation of the statutes, despite clear objections from the shareholder.
The ugly Newsweek lawsuit failed in its attempt to win unrelated religious institutions, and the judge saw no reason to heed the lawsuit’s allegation that imposed exorbitant amounts of damages in excess of $30 million on religious parties. The lawsuit came after Newsweek CEO Dev Pragad first failed to coerce a shareholder with threats of a “nuclear” series of articles attacking that shareholder’s religion because the shareholder refused to give ownership of Newsweek to Mr Pragad to be transferred.
A motion to dismiss is granted only after the court fully believes that all of the allegations in a complaint are true and the allegations still do not constitute a valid legal claim. Therefore, Newsweek’s failure to establish any claim against Olivet University constitutes an embarrassing court rejection of all of Newsweek’s incredulous claims against the university.
The dismissal of Newsweek’s lawsuit also represents an insurmountable setback to Mr. Pragad’s avid goal of wholly owned Newsweek.
Leading up to this decision, a series of Newsweek articles were written criticizing Olivet University from a fake news perspective, with sensational headlines such as “human trafficking” and “labour trafficking.” HNGN’s investigation found that these were written for Mr. Pragad’s benefit, to act as leverage in his fight to snatch shares from another Newsweek shareholder.
The court also cut Mr. Pragad by 95%, after unilaterally raising it without board approval, again in violation of the company’s bylaws. Before the cut, Mr. Pragad had set his salary and bonuses at an expected $4,705,456 — a figure that is difficult for even the average American to fathom. He now has to make do with $225,000 a year.
Mr. Pragad has also shown a pattern of giving pay raises and promotions to reporters who wrote and continued to write attack articles against Olivet University. The magazine’s unprecedented ethical violations also include the CEO personally attempting to dig up dirt from disgruntled former students to use for its greedy cause, and the magazine suing the party that had negatively treated it with numerous hit pieces for the benefit of the CEO. Editor Nancy Cooper and content officer Dayan Candappa have yet to answer for the sweeping editorial indiscretions committed under their purview.
Newsweek’s lawsuit was viewed by many observers as an attempt to involve a shareholder’s religious beliefs in a business dispute. In this regard, the lawsuit was widely seen as both inappropriate and ineffective, due to the fact that religious affiliations should not be used to pressure business partners to give up their shares. Religious discrimination and prejudice plaguing Newsweek and its newsroom, including editor Nancy Cooper and writers Naveed Jamal and Alex Rouhandeh, were also voiced. Newsweek’s articles seemed biased against Christian religious beliefs and affiliation.
However, the court cut through Mr Pragad’s deceitful power play and dismissed the lawsuit outright.
While Olivet University has most certainly been appeased by the decision, Mr. Pragad’s woes are far from cured.
With only $225,000 for Mr. Pragad to live on, it remains to be determined whether Mr. Pragad can maintain the lavish lifestyle he had become accustomed to before the court scrapped his personal financing arrangement. Meanwhile, Mr. Pragad has to personally pay for all further lawsuits as the court prohibited Mr. Pragad from using company money to fund his lawsuits, and he has to pay for all the lawsuits with money from his own thinning pockets.
The dismissal of the Newsweek lawsuit also doesn’t absolve Newsweek from the growing number of potential libel lawsuits available to the university and others over the outrageous lies the magazine has published in its fake news series.
This story was covered by Ryan Lee, the contributor to HNGN, following the developing story of Newsweek CEO Dev Pragad.
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