California man eases on eBay libel claim

A Los Angeles man said Monday that he would drop part of a libel lawsuit against eBay after the online auctioneer removed offending statements from the feedback section of its Web site.

Roger Grace, publisher of a Los Angeles legal newspaper, sued eBay and Hollywood memorabilia dealer Tim Neeley after the Web site operator refused to remove negative comments Neeley made, subsequent to selling Grace six vintage entertainment magazines.

According to the Jan. 22 lawsuit, Neeley said Grace "should be banned from eBay," and was "dishonest all the way" for alleging in the online forum that the magazines he bought had arrived late and in a worse condition than advertised.

In his lawsuit, Grace demanded $2.5 million in punitive damages from eBay and $100,000 from Neeley. He also asked a judge to force the cyberauction house to filter words like fraud, liar and scam artist from the site, or to warn site visitors that libelous retaliation could result from a complaint against a seller.

On Monday, Grace contacted eBay attorneys who said they were reviewing whether to remove Neeley's statements because they had had trouble contacting him.

News source: CNet

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