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Three Men Sued By Society Claim They Were Defamed

Three Mid-valley men fired a response back to Jessup’s St. Ubaldo Society on Tuesday, claiming that the society has defamed them by accusing them of stealing and claiming ownership of one of the three statues used in the annual St. Ubaldo Day Festival held every Memorial Day Weekend.

Attorney Patrick M. Rogan filed his defendants’ answer Tuesday in response to the lawsuit. The society sued the three men and wanted Lackawanna County Court to declare the society as the sole owner of the 400 pound St. Anthony statue used in the annual “Race of the Saints.”

The three men accused of claiming that they, and not the society, own the statue are insulted by the allegations, Mr. Rogan said after he filed the legal brief.

“Associates of the plaintiff began making bizarre, outrageous, baseless and unfounded allegations,” Mr. Rogan wrote in the response on behalf of his clients. “The defendants, never, ever raised false claims, or any other claims, of ownership with respect to the items of personal property referred to in the complaint. They have too much respect for the St. Ubaldo festivities, and for the saints, to do so.”

Mr. Rogan also mailed a letter to the lawyers of the society demanding a retraction of the complaint and a written apology.

“Be assured that if he does not then we will pursue all legal remedies,” Mr. Rogan wrote. “And we will make every effort to hold him personally liable for damages. No one may hide behind a corporate veil while willfully acting to harm another person’s reputation.”

The Tribune, May 25, 2005

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