“Double, double toil and trouble” – Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 1.
The continuing litigation saga of Diane Black and Lou Ann Zelenik, arising from their epic 2010 6th Congressional District campaign is bubbling up again… just in time for Black’s launch of a race for Governor.
To recap, Aegis Sciences Corp. (Diane and David Black’s company) sued Zelenik and some of her campaign team in the final days of the 2010 GOP Primary claiming that a Zelenik ad, focused on millions of dollars of no-bid contracts from the State of Tennessee that were awarded to Aegis while Diane served in the legislature, constituted slander entitling Aegis to recover damages.
The attack ad relied on news reports that had aired previously, and which had even been used against Diane in an earlier campaign for State Senate in 2008, without Aegis taking any legal action. Zelenik claimed the lawsuit was a coordinated effort to damage her campaign and that it had no basis as a legitimate case. Ultimately, the Court agreed with Zelenik and dismissed the case after determining that the ad that Aegis complained about was “true or at least substantially true.” The Tennessee Appellate Court upheld the lower court’s decision. End of story? Nope.
Zelenik later sued Aegis claiming that the lawsuit filed against her was a coordinated attack using the court system which was malicious and cost her the election, entitling her to damages from Aegis. That case has been moving slowly through the legal process over the last several years but is now moving towards a possible Spring 2018 trial date. Depositions and discovery are currently underway.
In fact, The Tennessee Star has learned that Zelenik was recently deposed and that Diane Black will likely have her own turn answering questions under oath in the near future. Stay tuned, the never-ending 2010 Congressional campaign continues.
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