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1st Amendment Case in NH Scheduled for November,

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The slander and libel trial against Salem, NH resident Michael Demers begins on November 28th in Hillsboro Superior Court.

Demers is being sued by Acadia Insurance for slander and defamation after publishing satirical artwork and parodies of their company and company employees on-line.

Acadia is seeking to silence Demers who has been spearheading a boycott against Haffner’s Oil Company (and their contractors) after they over-filled the Demers family oil tank in 2007, causing more than 200 gallons of oil to spill into the basement of the family home. More than 50 gallons of oil spilled out of the vents and down the foundation wall, seeping into the ground on the Demers property. Those facts are not in dispute.

leoDemers sued Acadia, (the insurance company for Haffner’s Oil) as well as Haffner’s, Enpro, and Ambrose Environmental after he and his mother got sick, claiming it was the result of the toxic fumes from the oil spill that was not adequately cleaned up.

Demers lost that court case, but took to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to ask the public’s help to refurbish his mom’s home, as well as to call for a public boycott of Haffner’s and the other companies involved.

“They had a moral obligation to keep their word. They said they would clean this spill and put us in the same position we were in before the spill. They half did the job, and we got sick. Now they are suing me to stop me from telling my story. They say that because we lost the legal action we have no rights to talk about it. Well, we do have rights. We have the right to tell people they made a promise to their customer and they never kept their word. We have the right to call for a boycott. That’s the American way.”

HalloweenAcadiaDemers says that Acadia is trying to stop his boycott by stopping him from promoting it on social media.

“My artwork and parodies are essential to promoting a boycott and that’s why they are trying to silence me. If I can’t promote it, there is no boycott.”

For their part, Acadia Insurance claims that the Demers parodies and boycott give the impression that they were legally negligent or responsible after a jury of eight has already ruled in their favor. They also object to Demers’ use of photos of their employees involved in the oil spill and its aftermath, calling his behavior harassment and defamation of character.

“It says right at the top of my webpage that this is not a legal claim; it’s a moral claim,” Demers says.

“I don’t know how they can even make the allegation that I’m making a legal claim. It’s all smoke and mirrors. It clearly states at the top of my website that we lost the court case.”

“So, OK maybe it’s legal to screw over a 73 year old woman … fine. They have all the high priced lawyers on their side. But that doesn’t make it right. They never made us whole. I have the right to say that, and I’m going to keep saying it. My mom is now bankrupt because they knew the law and they exploited the law. She maxed out all her credit cards on hotel bills that they promised they would take care of while we were out of the home. Now they are saying I’m bullying them? A multi-million dollar company that’s spends more money on lawyers to silence me, than they would have spent if they had built my mom a brand new home?”

“You can’t make this stuff up.”

Acadia, Haffner’s and Ambrose are not seeking monetary damages from Demers, rather, they are seeking to censor his activity on-line as well as put a stop to his boycott. The Valley Patriot will continue to follow this story.

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover Massachusetts, an author, host of the Paying Attention Radio Program on WCAP in Lowell, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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5 Responses to 1st Amendment Case in NH Scheduled for November,

  1. Michael Demers Reply

    October 15, 2017 at 11:46 PM

    In addition, Acadia Insurance & their Claims Adjuster, Leo Perreault through their attorneys are accusing me of making false statements of fact…which is total bullshit!

    I have firsthand knowledge of all the events and conversations that occurred relating to the oil spill and cleanup disaster that followed at my mom’s home, as I documented it entirely and kept a journal and video recorded the “emergency response cleanup” that lasted over a fourteen month period which allowed it to spread and enter the groundwater under her home and on her property!!

    My “Opinions” on my website and social media, which they complain are based on this information and are NOT actionable “false statements of fact” and are NOT defamatory as they claim!

    And certain statements they complain of are true and were made under oath in court during the 2011 “Negligence Case” against Haffner’s, Acadia Insurance Company, Enpro services, Inc. and Ambrose Environmental Management, Inc.

    “Artwork” or “Creative Works” which they complain, are protected under the First Amendment as well as for using someone’s name or likeness in a creative, entertaining, or artistic work that is transformative. (Parodies and Satirical works).

    As well as writing a book, documentary or movie based on real life events is also protected under the First Amendment…And I will be doing all the above when this case is over!

    ACADIA would prefer me not to tell this “True Story” of how my Mom was displaced for over 7 years as a result of the oil spill, cleanup and court case that followed, which involved Acadia Insurance Company and it’s claims adjuster, Leo Perreault.

    Since they filed this lawsuit, I have spent hundreds of hours doing legal research and have lost months of work to defend myself against a billion dollar insurance company with unlimited resources.

    Last year when they filed this lawsuit, I had contacted over a dozen law-firms seeking some Pro Bono assistance and they all said they would like to help …But, it would be a conflict of interest. You know what that means.

    I also contacted ACLU of New Hampshire, they told me they were short funded and would not be able to assist.

    continued…

    • Sandra Reply

      October 24, 2017 at 5:05 AM

      Keep pounding every boulder they put in front of you and keep exposing them for their faults

  2. Michael Demers Reply

    October 30, 2017 at 3:33 PM

    A big Thank You for your support Sandra, will do!

    To learn back story visit: http://www.americaformom.com

    Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/americaformom

  3. Ted Reply

    November 1, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    You have the right to do what you do,
    sounds like Haffner’s has given you the screw,
    along with Acadia and Ambrose too!
    Something sure stinks there for sure, phew.
    Keep up the good work, follow it through,
    I agree a 100% with you!!
    They think you’ve ‘bit off’ more than you can chew,
    but In the end you’ll win against this motley crew!
    “thanks* for sharing I bid you adieu!

  4. Michael Demers Reply

    November 1, 2017 at 1:38 PM

    Thank you,Ted…nicely put! I appreciate your response.
    This “True Story” will be told and will not censored!!

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