Healthsouth v. Krum


Healthsouth v. Krum

Healthsouth v. Krum was one of the first Internet defamation cases closely covered by The Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazine. This publicly traded company out of Birmingham Alabama hired Fischman to locate and and bring to task the anonymous posters defaming its C.E.O and the company on the  Yahoo! bulletin board for Healthsouth. The postings stated that the company had been downgraded by analysts when it had not been.  A poster proclaimed to be a former employee having an affair with the C.E.O's wife-all false. With Yahoo taking a hands-off stance, Mr. Fischman instead sued the message writers, starting with a "John Doe" filing in Florida's Dade County that let him subpoena Yahoo records. Just four days after Mr. Fischman got his first Yahoo records, Peter Krum, 33, was in his office by the loading dock at the Pennsylvania State University Conference Center Hotel, sending a message to the Yahoo board: "Scrushy should resign." Hours later, the campus security chief came through the door wanting to know if Mr. Krum was Dirk Diggler, the author of that message and dozens of others based upon Fischman's lawsuit data. Fischman was at Penn State when the raid took place.Mr. Fischman had tracked Mr. Krum down by computer, and a detective he hired then filled in the blanks. Mr. Krum had previously worked for HealthSouth as a hospital food service manager. He didn't own any company stock. He was married, and his wife was pregnant with their first child. He had boasted on the board of an affair with Mrs. Scrushy, and alarmed Mr. Scrushy that he claimed to have been inside the Scrushy home. However, these irresponsible words anonymously posted caused untold damage and headaches for the C.E.O and the Public company. Krum lost his job, Yahoo! took down the offensive postings, and a judgement against Krum was  entered and Krum posted a total retraction affidavit on the internet. 

The case was widely covered and watched by C.E.O's of other other public and private companies that were being slammed on the internet by anonymous posters. This led to Fortune magazine asking  Fischman to be its guest speaker at the Fortune 500 Conference in Beverly Hills California attended by invitation only by the C.E.O's of the top 500 publicly traded company's in the world, and to Fortune's Technology Conference later that year. The field of Cyberlaw was born. 


Wall Street Journal Article on front page of Section B and online and the Post Gazette.

HealthSouth.pdf

 State College man pays large penalty for Internet attack on company 2.pdf