Greenpeace re-files lawsuit naming Ketchum

WASHINGTON: Greenpeace has re-filed its lawsuit against Ketchum, Dezenhall Resources, Dow Chemical, and Sasol North America in District of Columbia Superior Court after the case was dismissed in federal court last month.

WASHINGTON: Greenpeace has re-filed its lawsuit against Ketchum, Dezenhall Resources, Dow Chemical, and Sasol North America in District of Columbia Superior Court after the case was dismissed in federal court last month.

The previous suit alleged that the four companies, and four former employees of a private security firm, used “unlawful means” to obtain confidential information about Greenpeace's activities, including its communications plans and financial reports, from 1998 to 2000.

Mark Floegel, senior investigator in Greenpeace USA's research division, said that the chemical companies and PR agencies “stole” confidential information from Greenpeace.

He added that the federal court judge dismissed the case on “procedural grounds” and “never got around to addressing the merits of the case.”

Greenpeace, who will be represented in court by DC pro bono law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, is suing the companies and PR firm for “millions” of dollars, said Floegel. He added that the organization really wants “to expose these folks for what they've done and re-level the playing field.”

“In a real sense, it may take a monetary judgment to get these people to understand that what they did was wrong because money is the only language that they seem to understand,” he said.

Ketchum said in a statement that the agency is looking into the complaint, but the firm cannot comment on specifics because it has not yet received a copy of the suit.

The agency noted that “a lawsuit with similar allegations filed by Greenpeace in 2010 with the US District Court for the District of Columbia was recently dismissed.”

Last December, Ray Kotcher, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum, said in a statement: “It is important to understand that the alleged activity occurred more than 10 years ago. However, based on what we know today, I have no reason to believe any of our employees engaged in any unlawful conduct.”

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