We are receiving breaking news from Valencia, Spain where a court just ruled in favor of Santiago Calatrava, closing his recent slander case against Spanish political party EUPV. This is legal victory #1 for Calatrava, but more law suits are piling up.
Here's the statement in full:
"Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish-born architect and engineer, has won an action in Spain against the political party Esquerra Unida del Pais Valencia (“EUPV”) for persistent defamatory comments. (The EUPV is the local Valencia franchise for a coalition of Spanish far left and communist parties).
In the legal case against EUPV, Santiago Calatrava sought the protection of Spanish courts from the repeated public false and damaging allegations made by EUPV, directly and through a web site setup by the party, with the intention to smear Mr. Calatrava and his business. A number of media outlets in the U.S. and elsewhere covered the existence of the site and have reflected its content.
In the judgment, the Honourable Judge M.A. Casañ Llopis noted that the limits of freedom of expression and freedom of information are set where those rights illegitimately breach the honor and good name protected in the Spanish legal system. The publication of the information on the internet within a defamatory context and the fact that the very name used by EUPV was deemed illegitimate were all factors affecting the court’s decision. Among other consequences, the court ordered that:
This comes just a few weeks after an inquiry by local authorities in Valencia found that damage to the façade of the opera house - sustained last year – was due to the adhesive applied by a third party contractor and was not the fault of Santiago Calatrava GmbH.
A spokesperson for Santiago Calatrava GmbH said, “We were reluctant to take legal action but the behavior of EUPV gave us no choice. We operate in the public eye and expect criticism but we are not prepared to accept defamatory comments of this kind. We thank the Spanish court for the resolution of this matter and we look forward to focusing on the completion of the many exciting projects we are currently working on.”
Santiago Calatrava GmbH was represented by a team from Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP, spearheaded by Ignacio Foncillas and by Santiago Thomas de Carranza and Francisco Vega in Spain."