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The Right To Free Speech PDF Print E-mail

When I first started warning others of the potential risks of LASIK surgery, I could not name Drs. Herbert Nevyas and Anita Nevyas-Wallace (the doctors who damaged my eyes) due to litigation (medical malpractice).

After my med mal lawsuit, I added the doctors’ names because I believed then (and still do) that as a matter of public safety, they should be named. Their investigational study, as proven by the information (documents) posted resulted in numerous lawsuits.  I posted all of the information I could get.

The doctors did not like this, and filed a defamation lawsuit against me.  In the course of the 2 years it took for this case to appear before a judge at trial, my website was shut down 3 times, through intimidation and threats of lawsuits against my web hosting companies.  On the second attempt, even after a temporary restraining order was denied twice by the courts, my site was shut down due to phone calls and a letter from the doctors’ attorney.

In July 2005, I was ordered by the court to remove the doctors’ names from my website. I appealed the court's decision.

Were My Rights Being Violated?

In the Nevyas Eye Associates section of this site, I believe the documents posted support all my claims against Drs. Herbert Nevyas and Anita Nevyas-Wallace (Nevyas Eye Associates). The Nevyases have fought hard to keep these documents from the public eye.

YES!  There was no confidentiality in the med mal lawsuit, although asked for at the very last moment by the doctors.  There was no confidentiality in the defamation lawsuit, although some records have been sealed by the court.  I have not ever given away my right to speak (or write) about my case, nor did I give up my right when my website was changed back to its original state in November 2003.  The Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed:

Excerpt of  THE OPINION OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA AS OF MARCH 09, 2007

"In the cease and desist letter, the Nevyases demanded that Morgan “immediately remove this web site and the falsehoods contained within that site or legal action will be instituted against you immediately.” Letter, dated 7/30/05. As noted, Morgan responded to the July 30, 2003 letter on August 1, 2003, in which he noted that he “conformed to your request insofar as to remove any stated libelous reference to the Nevyas and their practice only[.]” N.T., Trial, 7/26/05, at 68. Morgan further wrote in the letter, however, that he would not remove the website in its entirety and will be updating this site or others with facts of my care, treatment, history, all of the legal issues pertaining to my case and all necessary documentation substantiating those facts within the legal guidelines as allowed by the law and the First Amendment which grants me freedom of speech[.] Id., at 68-69. Thereafter, Morgan kept his website; he simply uploaded the original version of it, which contained no reference to the Nevyases or their medical practice. ¶ 30 We agree with the trial court that Morgan agreed to take down the specific libelous wording from his website as posted on July 30, 2003, and that, pursuant to the agreement, those specific libelous statements were to be prohibited thereafter. See id., at 68. We cannot agree, however, that Morgan’s action of uploading the original website content, which contained no reference to the Nevyases or their medical practice, constituted an agreement on his part to never again mention them, for example, even in a 13 J.A32020/06 non-defamatory context. Rather, his letter specifically reserved the right to “update” his website “within the legal guidelines as allowed by the law and the First Amendment which grants me freedom of speech.” Id., at 68-69. The trial court’s interpretation of the agreement in this respect is incongruous given Morgan’s August 1, 2003 letter. See Jenkins v. County of Schuylkill, 658 A.2d 380, 383 (Pa. Super. 1995), appeal denied, 542 Pa. 647, 666 A.2d 1056 (1995) (“It is black letter law that in order to form an enforceable contract, there must be an offer, acceptance, consideration or mutual meeting of the minds.”) (emphasis added). Likewise, we find that Morgan did not agree to waive his right to make, if he so chooses and at his own risk, libelous statements in the future, unrelated to the statements on his website as of July 30, 2003."