An Open Letter to Diane Harkey
September 17, 2013
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Assemblywoman Diane Harkey:
Yesterday, I, along with several other journalists, incorrectly reported that you filed a $5 million lawsuit against state Senator Mark Wyland, R-San Diego, for defamation, presenting in a false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress. I acknowledge now that “only a portion of my statement is true.”
Yes, it is true that you filed a lawsuit against Mr. Wyland for defamation, presenting in a false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It is also true that you claim Wyland’s statements caused you “severe and grievous mental and emotional suffering, fright, anguish, shock, nervousness, and anxiety.” It is also true that you claim to have obtained “medical treatment on a number of occasions” as a result of the statements. It is also true that, as of August 26, “medical treatment will continue for an indeterminable length of time.”
Thanks to the meticulous work of the UT San Diego’s Michael Gardner, I now realize that, in fact, your frivolous lawsuit against Wyland is for $10 million, not the lower figure of $5 million. I apologize for this error. I misinterpreted Paragraphs 24 and 25 of your frivolous lawsuit and did not realize that you are seeking $5 million for “severe and grievous mental and emotional suffering” and another $5 million for the “medical treatment.”
24. As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s acts alleged herein, HARKEY was caused to incur severe and grievous mental and emotional suffering, fright, anguish, shock, nervousness, and anxiety. HARKEY continues to be fearful, anxious, and nervous. For this harm, HARKEY requests compensatory damages in the sum of Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00).
25. As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s acts alleged herein, HARKEY was caused to obtain medical treatment on a number of occasions as of the filing of this Complaint, which medical treatment will continue for an indeterminable length of time. HARKEY requests compensatory damages in the sum of Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00).
Ironically, my mistake of undervaluing your lawsuit is the same mistake that Mr. Wyland made when he said that some of the investors in your husband’s failed company were “of modest means”. Please don’t sue me for making the same $10 million mistake that Wyland made.
Not to pass blame, but your complaint is very confusing. After all, it incorrectly claims that you are running for the Franchise Tax Board, when you are truly a candidate for the Board of Equalization. It also doesn’t help that you have refused to answer any questions about the lawsuit. Below are two questions that I emailed to your chief of staff and chief political consultant.
1. Medical Treatment: According to the lawsuit, Harkey sought “medical treatment on a number of occasions” as a result of Wyland’s statements. When and where did she obtain medical treatment?
2. Reopening Old Wounds: In her floor speech against SB 131, Harkey said that lawsuits by sexual abuse victims are an example of “reopening wounds and feeding trial attorneys.” Why is it acceptable for her to reopen wounds and feed trial attorneys, but not acceptable for victims of sexual abuse?
That last question is particularly urgent. SB 131 is sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. If you have any insight as to why you deserve $10 million in damages, but some sexual abuse victims should not be allowed to file a lawsuit, I am certain he would appreciate your comments.
Again, I offer my apologies for undervaluing your $10 million frivolous lawsuit.