LOS ANGELES, Aug 5 (Reuters) - A California lawyer who has waged an ongoing battle with Yahoo Inc. over personal attacks made against him on Yahoo message boards has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the company.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday by associates of corporate attorney Stephen Galton, claims Yahoo has unfairly protected people who post negative messages on its bulletin boards and falsely advertised that it prevents such abusive messages.
"It wouldn't be prudent for us to comment on this pending lawsuit," Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako said in a statement.
Galton is a partner in the firm of Galton & Helm, which specializes in insurance law. He registered to use Yahoo message boards in early 2004 in order to respond to a negative late-2003 post about one of his clients, which he did not identify in the suit.
After Galton posted his response, under the screen name "stephengalton," he was subjected to name-calling by various other users of the message boards.
One user, a person using the screen name "mumioler" who had posted the original messages about Galton's client that started the dispute, wrote a series of new messages calling Galton a "shyster" and an "overly robust geezer that makes a living walking behind the elephant with a shovel."
Other users also took personal shots at Galton, and he filed suit in April of this year against them. At the same time, he sought their personal information via a subpoena from Yahoo. The company, the suit said, responded with incomplete or inaccurate information.
The suit proposes as a class any California resident who has been targeted by abusive messages on a Yahoo board, who tried to get such messages stopped or learn the identity of the message poster, and who had such requests denied within the last four years. It seeks restitution, a permanent injunction and other forms of relief.
How long till the OM goes to court? judge judy?