Dallas, TX (October 7, 2019) — Cowles Thompson Shareholder, Casey Erick, succeeded in obtaining dismissal of all claims in a $5 million defamation lawsuit brought by well-known Dragon Ball voice actor Vic Mignogna against his former employer and two former colleagues, plus the fiancé of one of those colleagues.
State District Judge John Chupp, who had previously dismissed 12 of the 17 claims brought by Mignogna, dismissed the remaining 5 claims on October 4th, the sum of which included defamation, tortious interference, and conspiracy. The legal battle began amidst numerous allegations that the actor had made unwanted sexual advances toward other female voice-actors, co-workers, and fans. Mignogna named Funimation Productions, LLC (a Texas-based company that specializes in dubbing and distribution of foreign content – predominantly anime), as well as voice actors Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and Rial’s fiancé Ron Toye. Casey Erick represented Rial and Toye.
The case stirred up a great deal of conversation across social media because it brought the #MeToo movement to the world of anime, and it was anticipated that the outcome would have far-reaching impact for the multimillion-dollar industry. Casey Erick explained, “The ‘Harvey Weinstein Effect’ expanded the #MeToo movement, and has also shed light on the impact of social media – as a tool to expose harassment and as potential evidence of harassment.”
Our clients Rial and Toye maintained that Mignogna’s claims were devised to silence their accusations regarding his behavior. On their behalf, we filed a motion to dismiss under the Texas Anti-SLAPP law, which is a law that protects people from being sued for exercising their first amendment rights. Our representation was coordinated as co-counsel with law firms Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthall, LLP; and Wick Phillips. Defendant Marchi was represented by the Johnson Sparks firm.
Casey Erick represents clients in both litigation and transactional matters that span across commercial law, labor and employment, real estate, consumer protection, and general litigation including breach of contract, corporate trade secret theft, tortious interference, defamation, personal injury, fraud, and various other kinds of civil litigation.
Cowles Thompson, LLC is a full-service law firm with offices in Dallas and Plano, Texas. Established in 1978, the firm has long served the Dallas-Fort Worth region, Texas, and the nation. Cowles Thompson attorneys strive to provide effective, creative, efficient solutions for their clients’ most complex problems, including critical litigation and appeals, employment, business formation and transactions, creditor’s rights and family law.
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