Is it really worth suing Greg Mortenson for a refund? Two California residents, a Montana man, and an Illinois woman, the Associated Press reports, have filed a lawsuit against Mortenson accusing him of fraud and deception--tricking readers into buying the books and donating to his charity. Tthe hearing is scheduled for today.
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CBS's 60 Minutes, author Jon Krakauer, Mortenson's publisher, and news outlets have scrutinized fabrications in Three Cups of Tea for the past year or so, but this is the first legal action over them. The most egregious being that he somehow met Mother Teresa three years after she had died.
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The refund-seekers even employed one Larry Drury, who represented the irate James Frey readers who felt duped during the fiasco over A Million Little Pieces. Drury said the two cases are "stunningly close", which for plaintiffs is a good thing right? So what did Drury win the Frey readers?
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"That lawsuit ended in a settlement that offered refunds to buyers of the book," writes the AP. Wait. That's it? Not exactly. Mortenson's angry readers will be lucky to get that, according to Wayne Giampietro, a First Amendment expert. “It’s his story. It purports to be his experiences. He can say it any way he wants to say. He has the right to publish anything he wants about himself,” Giampietro told the AP. “The idea that you can be sued because perhaps they don’t like what you wrote, for whatever reason, is absurd.”