Business & Finance
News
3/4/2003
02:07 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Supreme Court Declines To Take Internet-Era Case

The nation's highest court refuses to consider a case concerning which courts should handle lawsuits against people for information they put on the Internet

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider an Internet-era case that asked which courts should handle lawsuits against people for information they put on the World Wide Web.

The question keeps coming up as more operators of Internet sites are taken to court for things like defamation or invasion of privacy.

The justices rejected an appeal from Healthgrades.com, which offers ratings of health care providers on the Internet. A home health care agency, Northwest Healthcare Alliance, contends it deserved a better grade. The agency sued for defamation in Washington state.

The attorney for Healthgrades.com said that the company, which operates out of Colorado, should not be forced to go to trial in Washington. Kris Kostolansky said that an appeals court ruling allowing the suit "subjects those who communicate opinions over the Internet to the unconstitutional burden of being subject to suit in any forum, until such time as this court corrects the injustice.''

The Supreme Court has considered some Internet cases. But so far, justices have not been willing to consider a cyberspace legal boundary issue: Where can lawsuits involving the Web be filed?

The Internet jurisdiction subject has come up in Australia, where that country's highest court ruled last year that a businessman could sue for defamation over an article published in the United States and posted on the Internet.

In the Washington state case, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that Healthgrades.com had opened itself up for a lawsuit in Washington by grading a Washington state provider and obtaining information for the rating from Washington state records.

Healthgrades.com offers ratings of doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and home health care agencies.

The case is Healthgrades.com Inc. v. Northwest Health Care Alliance In., 02-1250.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.