Jackson Walker attorneys Chip Babcock and Marie Delahoussaye have successfully represented television personality, Dr. Mehmet Oz, in a complaint brought on by the North American Olive Oil Association. The complaint, brought in Georgia superior court, accused Dr. Oz of making false claims about the quality of olive oil sold in the U.S.
The North American Olive Oil Association, a trade association representing importers and marketers of olive oil, took issue when Dr. Oz said that 80 percent of extra virgin olive oil sold in the U.S. may be adulterated with inferior oils and artificial coloring in a May 2016 episode of “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alford J. Dempsey Jr. dismissed NAOOA’s action under the anti-SLAPP law, stating that Dr. Oz’s statements are protected under a Georgia law protecting free speech related to an issue of public concern. Judge Dempsey also dismissed a tortious interference claim on the basis that the trade association could not allege financial injury since it represents the producers that sell olive oil to consumers, and do not actually sell olive oil.
“We are grateful for the thorough, scholarly and comprehensive decision of Judge Dempsey and look forward to recovering attorneys’ fees and costs under the Georgia anti-SLAPP law, which protects the freedom to speak on matters of public concern,” Chip told Law360 of the dismissal.
For more information, read “Ga. Court Tosses Libel Suit Over Dr. Oz’s Olive Oil Segment,” by Law360. Subscription may be required to view article.
About Chip Babcock
Chip Babcock has extensive experience in trial and appellate matters in the media industry. He has represented an impressive roster of high-profile clients, including Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil McGraw, and President George W. Bush. Chip has been recognized by the prestigious Chambers USA organization both for its USA and Global Guides. He was also honored with the Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award by the Texas Bar Foundation in 2016.
About Marie Delahoussaye
Marie Delahoussaye is an associate in Jackson Walker’s litigation practice. Based in Houston, she represents clients in litigation matters across a wide range of industries. Marie received both her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Texas.