(CMR) John Felder, the former CEO at Cayman Automotive Leasing (CAL), has filed a lawsuit against Cayman Marl Road today after it was recently disclosed that he was terminated from his position with the company. CMR had access to insider information about why Felder was no longer with the organization.
Felder has retained local law firm Priestleys to represent him and claims that the most recent article written about him is defamatory. The Writ was issued today after a series of emails were received indicating his intent to sue. The Writ is not detailed in any way but claims to seek damages for libel in respect of the article and seeks a permanent injunction against further publication.
However, in their email correspondence from December 23, they claim that the following statements are defamatory:
- John Felder was fired from Cayman Automotive
- Felder still selling cars via ECayTrade
- Alleged fraudster John Felder …
It goes on the list of almost everything in the article. Essentially the letter challenges every aspect of the article and claims that “We would suggest that both the Article when read as a whole and each of the individual Statements set out above are defamatory.”
Under English Law defamation, the Defendant must prove the statements made in a defamatory claim are indeed true. The truth remains a complete defense against defamation. Whilst the Cayman Islands still operate under what many consider antiquated defamation laws, the United Kingdom reformed theirs in 2013. Earlier this summer, The Supreme Court found that the 2013 Defamation law has a second requirement – that the defamatory statement caused serious harm to an individual's reputation. This decision now raises the bar for anyone wishing to bring new claims to the courts.
Cayman still operates under the old common-law rules and the Defamation Law (1995 Revision). However, there are a number of defenses afforded to the media that CMR will no doubt avail itself of.
This is not the first time that CMR has done articles on Felder. He has been sued in Grand Court by at least two individuals for borrowing a substantial amount of money from both parties. On the last occasion in May 2019, he threatened to sue but later retracted his position and instead issued a statement against the Plaintiff in that matter, sharing:
Responding to the email CMR's Sandy Hill shared:
“Anyone can sue and at times it appears everyone wishes to silence the media using this mechanism. All it takes is money! It certainly does not speak to the merits of the litigation. We remain firm in our position and will continue to expose the truth at all costs. Those who are afraid of the truth will try their best to scare us with lawsuits but should rest assured that we remain to the facts. Anyone reading the article and knowing the facts will reasonably conclude that if someone calls Felder “a con artist” it is well within their rights to form that opinion.”
Despite no longer being employed by CAL Felder continues to use the same Gmail email address that he used to contact us back in May. In September of 2018, local NGO's emailed CMR seeking to distance themselves from Felder, indicating that he was no longer a member of their organization.
CMR is no stranger to litigation and has not yet had any successful judgments against the online publication. Speaking in broader terms, Hill shared:
“Cayman is a community that still believes in holding a lot of secrets and that's why people are able to get away with so much. Challenging that establishment in any way comes with risk. A con artist never wishes to be exposed, otherwise, their potential victims quickly disappear. The fewer people know about their activities the better for them, but we are here to shine the light on all. Rich, poor, black or white …. it simply doesn't matter. We are more than prepared to prove the veracity of our statements when it comes to Mr. Felder. The truth will set us all free!”