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Twitter, Law Firm Escape Suit by ‘Doxxed’ Right-Wing Activists

Nov. 2, 2021, 9:37 PM

Twitter Inc. and Cohen, Weiss, & Simon LLP were among several parties dismissed from a lawsuit brought by a right-wing activist who says he was fired from the New York Daily News after a left-wing activist exposed his personal information on Twitter.

Daniel D’Ambly filed the suit in September 2020, saying Christian Exoo “doxxed” him through his “@AntiFashGordon” Twitter handle in order to get him fired from the Daily News. D’Ambly also alleged Cohen Weiss committed legal malpractice when it failed to properly contest his termination on behalf of his union.

Exoo’s employer, St. Lawrence University; a Twitter executive, Vijaya Gadde; the Daily News; and Tribune Publishing Co. LLC are all also named as defendants. Additional plaintiffs also say they were doxxed by Exoo.

Judge John Michael Vazquez of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss in two opinions Monday.

Vazquez threw out RICO claims because the plaintiffs failed to show a pattern of racketeering activity, and failed to provide any details about the alleged organization of the enterprise.

And because none of the plaintiffs other than D’Ambly live or work in New Jersey, the court didn’t have personal jurisdiction over their claims against Exoo.

D’Ambly’s claim against Exoo alleging wrongful and intentional interference with an economic benefit failed in part because D’Ambly didn’t outright deny the allegations that he was a fascist and a white supremacist. Instead, D’Ambly claimed he was a member of the New Jersey European Heritage Association, which Exoo showed adheres to white supremacist views, the court held.

Similarly, D’Ambly’s claim for intrusion upon seclusion failed because D’Ambly didn’t show Exoo used anything but public information when doxxing him.

Plaintiffs’ claim for negligent entrustment against the Twitter defendants, attempting to hold Twitter responsible for actions it purportedly knew others would take using its platform, was tossed because Twitter “does no constitute a dangerous instrumentality,” as is required under the law.

A claim against Twitter alleging breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing was also dismissed because plaintiffs had no contract with them.

The legal malpractice claim against Cohen Weiss was dismissed in a separate opinion. There was not an attorney-client relationship between D’Ambly and the firm, which had been hired by D’Ambly’s union, the court said.

Claims against Daily News and Tribune weren’t dismissed.

D’Ambly is represented by Patrick Trainor of Rutherford, N.J. Cohen Weiss is represented by Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla PC. The Twitter defendants are represented by Gibbons PC. Exoo is represented by Marlborough Law Firm PC and Richard Torres of Springfield, N.J.

The case is D’Ambly v. Exoo, D.N.J., No. 2:20-cv-12880, 11/1/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcAfee@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com