SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election

October 27, 2010

Hudak drops libel suit against Tierney

LAWRENCE — Republican candidate Bill Hudak withdrew his libel complaint against Democratic Congressman John Tierney this afternoon, following a judge’s ruling earlier today that he could not call witnesses to testify until after the Nov. 2 election.

Hudak had been seeking an injunction to prevent Tierney from airing ads that Hudak claimed contained false and defamatory statements about his positions on some issues.

A hearing on the request for an injunction was scheduled for 2 p.m. today in Lawrence Superior Court.

After a judge ruled this morning that the hearing would be non-evidentiary -- meaning no witnesses would be allowed to testify today -- Hudak dropped his suit this afternoon. Tierney’s lawyers had also submitted documents they said substantiated the claims in the disputed ad.

The case may not be over, however. It will not be dismissed until Tierney’s lawyers decide whether to seek sanctions against Hudak for what they called “a bad-faith publicity stunt that has now backfired on him.” As a lawyer, Hudak, they noted, is an officer of the court.

Tierney’s lawyers could seek to have Hudak pay their court costs, or ask the judge to impose other sanctions.

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