SIUE professor files defamation suit

By Steve Gonzalez | Mar 15, 2005

Plaintiff Christopher Dussold pictured on SIUE's website

Christopher Dussold of Sorento filed a nine-count defamation lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court March 15 seeking at least $750,000 in compensatory and punitive damages claiming his reputation has been damaged.

Dussold is listed as an assistant professor on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's website. But on Wednesday, a switchboard operator at SIUE said there was no listing for Dussold.

The suit names Gary Giamartino of Glen Carbon, Mary Sue Love and Angelo Monaco of Edwardsville, Rakesh Bharati of Maryville, Gertrude Pannirselvam, Chris Spickerman and Jennifer Peyla of Madison County, and Radcliff Edmonds of St. Louis, as well as unknown defendants.

Dussold is represented by Jeffrey Ezra of Wendler and Ezra of Collinsville.

He claims that as of March 15, 2004, the defendants published one or more oral or written false statements which "were intended to impeach his honesty, integrity, virtue or reputation."

According to the complaint, the defamatory statements included:

  • That Dussold had been involved in an improper and/or illicit relationship with another and that Dussold has a history of being involved in such relationships;

  • The only reason Dussold was able to accomplish certain academic goals and criteria was because he was “friendly” with the individuals who were called upon to make determinations regarding attainment of the needed criteria;

  • That Dussold has been involved in fraud regarding academic integrity and credentialing.

    Dussold claims the statements made by the defendants were false and that there was an unprivileged publication of these defamatory statements to a third party.

    In the suit, Dussold claims that the statements were harmful and "prejudiced a person in his profession and, if true, would tend to cause a person to be shunned by or excluded from society."

    Dussold also claims the statements made by the defendants were known to be false and were likely to impact his integrity.

    According to the complaint, Dussold suffered economic losses, severe emotional distress, a damaged reputation, and out-of-pocket expenses associated with the investigation and attempt to mitigate the damages caused by the defendants.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

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