Journalists sue over HP spying scandal

By Matt Chapman on May 9, 2007 3:00 PM
Filed under Hardware

Looking for punishment, not payout.

Three journalists targeted in the HP phone tapping scandal are to sue the company for invasion of privacy.  

Dawn Kawamoto, Stephen Shankland and Tom Krazit have hired Los Angeles law firm Panish, Shea & Boyle which is currently preparing the suit. 

The three journalists, who all work for CNET's News.com, make up a third of the nine journalists targeted by private investigators.

Lawyer Kevin Boyle said that the trio are not seeking financial restoration, but are asking for punitive measures to be taken against HP.

HP began the investigation to try and locate the source of a boardroom leak last year. However, investigators used illegal methods such as obtaining phone records for the journalists and their relatives by deception, otherwise known as pretexting.

CNET Networks said that it was not part of the lawsuit but could launch its own action separately.

HP had hoped to settle the case by making a US$250,000 donation on behalf of each journalist to a charity of their choice.

Felony charges filed in the case against former HP chief executive Patricia Dunn were dismissed. Out of four other defendants facing felony charges, three were eventually charged with misdemeanours.  

HP has already settled a civil lawsuit filed by California's attorney general for US$14.5m.
 
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