In November 2016, I discovered that more than 200 of my posts had been copied and republished by a public company. A month after I informed the company’s owners that I intended to seek compensation for the blog violation, they filed a lawsuit against GoPetFriendly.com, asking the court to exonerate them and award them damages in the amount of Award $5 million. They hoped to intimidate me. It did not work.
Blog Violation Resolution
Of course, the listed company that republished my blog posts was liable for the damage. But I’ve learned that the people who ordered the breach also have personal liability. When my posts were stolen, three different men were in charge of the company – Mr. Taylor, Mr. Dillon, and Mr. Neziol. Each of them was named in the lawsuit. Only Mr. Neziol answered – the other two were informed of the case but did not come forward and therefore lost by default.
In October 2019, to avoid the cost of a lawsuit, we settled with Mr. Neziol for $30,000, which helped cover some of our legal fees.
As part of that agreement, GoPetFriendly.com was also awarded a $200,000 judgment against the company, now called Rain Forest International, Inc. It seems unlikely that we can collect this verdict. The company has not submitted any public disclosures since May 2019 and seems to no longer exist.
It is more difficult to recover damages for blog violations from people who do not respond to a lawsuit. First, you must file an application for default and provide the judge with proof of the damage suffered.
In our case, we started by calculating the estimated cost the company would have had to pay for someone to write each of the stolen blog posts. Based on an average hourly rate of $30 for freelance writers and additional time and estimated travel expenses for the blog posts on pet-friendly destinations, we came up with a total of $79,560.
In addition, the law provides for statutory claims for damages and recovery of profits made by the company as a result of their theft. In total, these amounts totaled $748,867.
If we add our attorneys’ fees and costs, our total damages claim is $934,438. On January 10, 2020 my attorney received this The judge ruled in our favor and hadn’t changed our calculations at all!
Receiving the verdict was huge. After more than three years at this weight, I felt validated! The recognition of the value of my work – and thus that of all other bloggers – was indescribable. But I can’t tell you… because that’s not the end of the case.
It’s still up to us to try and collect the verdict. The court awarded damages, awarding Mr. Taylor more than $400,000 and Mr. Dillon almost as much. We didn’t want them to know we were looking for them so I didn’t share our win here on the blog. I wouldn’t trust them to hide assets to force us through one more hurdle before we can recover the damage.
We are still searching for John W. Taylor, born August 5, 1959 with last known address in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We found Mr. Dillon’s employer just prior to the outbreak of COVID and the state halted all debt collection activities in Nevada. When restrictions were lifted in October, we filed for garnishment on Mr Dillon’s salary and received our first payment last week. Given the amount we’re getting, he won’t be paying off the sentence in his lifetime. But I’m grateful that we’re getting more of our legal fees back.
That’s where we are today. I don’t know if we’ll ever find Mr. Taylor. And that’s okay. It’s time to acknowledge the lessons I’ve learned and close this chapter of my life.
I can’t tell you how much your support has meant to me – both emotionally and financially. Your generosity and care have taught me that there is no shame in asking for help.
This world is full of wonderful, kind people. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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