(CN) - A Georgia-based pulp and paper manufacturer claims in court that Greenpeace is a "global fraud" that has lambasted it for years with sensational false claims for no other reason than to pump up its donations.
In a 124-page complaint filed in the Southern District of Georgia, Resolute Forest Products and its affiliated companies claim Greenpeace International has repeatedly attacked them for no other reason than to "perpetuate the corrupted entity itself" and "pay the salaries of its leaders and employees."
"Maximizing donations, not saving the environment, is Greenpeace's true objective," the forest product company claims. "Because soliciting money, not saving the environment, is Greenpeace's primary objective, it has demonstrated time and time again that it will do anything to drive donations, including fabricating evidence."
The plaintiff asserts that defendant Greenpeace and its associates, defendants Daniel Brindis, Amy Moas, Matthew Daggett, Rolf Skar, and Todd Paglia, developed a campaign called "Resolute: Forest Destroyer."
"The Canadian Boreal forest Greenpeace claims Resolute is 'destroying' is a vast evergreen forest and ecological system covering thirty-one percent of Canada," the May 31 complaint states. The campaign is aimed primarily at Resolute Forest Products for "destroying endangered forests."
"The claim by Greenpeace which has never planted a single tree in the Boreal forest that Resolute which has planted over a billion trees in the Boreal forest and contributed to no permanent loss of forest acreage is a 'Forest Destroyer' is patently false and unfounded. It is a malicious lie," the plaintiffs say.
Resolute Forest Products owns or operates over 40 pulp, paper, tissue and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, as well as power generation assets in Canada and the United States, according to the company's website.
The racketeering, defamation, trademark, and tortious interference lawsuit against Greenpeace seeks compensatory and other damages.
Michael Bowe of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman represents the plaintiff.
Bowe told Courthouse News, "This is a good company, run by good people. It planted over a billion trees in the Boreal Forest and caused no permanent deforestation. Calling it a 'destroyer' of the Boreal is absurd and indefensible and maligns good people and hurts all those who make a living in this renewable resource."
Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA, said the organization "is dedicated to investigating, exposing, and confronting environmental abuse by corporations and governments.
"For years, Resolute has tried to silence our revelations and those of other independent organizations on its environmental practices with threats, defamatory attacks, and baseless lawsuits," Leonard said. "Instead of focusing on real solutions for forests, communities and its business, Resolute is once again wasting resources on a case with no merit. As it has done before, the company has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to silence critics with legitimate concerns about its environmental practices.
"Grotesquely misstating our mission and attacking our credibility with a frivolous lawsuit and a malicious public relations campaign will get Resolute nowhere," she continued. "Greenpeace is an independent nonprofit with a record of taking non-violent, creative action based on sound scientific facts to ensure the protection and safety of the environment and vulnerable communities across the globe. Our work to create a green and peaceful world will continue, and we will not back down in the face of intimidation and bullying."
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