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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

SIUE professor accused of defamation; Suit seeks $33M in punitive damages

By Michael Abella | Dec 1, 2016

EDWARDSVILLE — Two astronomers seek $33 million in punitive damages against a professor at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, who they claim made defamatory statements within their professional community and took customers and grants.

Wyoming residents Timothy Slater and Stephanie Slater filed a complaint on Nov. 21 in Madison County Circuit Court against astronomer Pamela Gay, alleging that the defendant has set out to harm Timothy Slater's reputation.

According to the complaint, the Slaters allege Gay stalked them at various conferences to take customers and grants from them. They also claim she made false allegations of misconduct and disseminating slanderous and libelous statements within their professional community.

As a result, the plaintiffs claim they suffered physical and mental health damage, extreme emotional distress, loss of opportunity for advancement and reduced book sales and speaking engagements.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment in their favor, for damages in an amount in excess of $50,000 for each of them, plus attorney's fees, costs and expenses and for such other relief that are just and equitable. They also seek $3 million for punitive damages for plaintiff Timothy Slater and $30 million for punitive damages for plaintiff Stephanie Slater.

They are represented by John D. Wendler of Law Offices of John D. Wendler in Edwardsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-1598

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