Defamation: Jackson Ude opts for out of court settlement with Wabote

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The lingering defamation suit between Simbi Keisye Wabote and Jackson Ude of the Point Blank News appears to have come to an end. Ude, whose numerous motions to stop the case was dismissed by the court, finally sought for out-of-court settlement of the case and agreed to pull down the offensive articles from his website and social media handle.

A court document dated June 15, showed that Wabote and Ude signed an out of court settlement agreement crafted by their lawyers Michael D. Cilento and Benneth Onyema Amadi, respectively, at the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, presided by Judge Joseph Leeson Jr.

Judge Leeson Jnr. also approved an ECF 137 Order based on Wabote’s petition through his lawyer for $10,000 in fees related to the second and third Ude depositions. Ude and Amadi have 14 days to pay to Wabote’s account with Cilento, his lawyer.

Ude also will have seven days to pull all articles down and publish the certification. The ECF 138, which is the signed settlement agreement with signature of the Judge, has 15-point out of court agreement to avoid further litigation on the matter.

The document sighted stated: “WHEREAS, Wabote filed Case No. 5:21-cv-02214-JFL, Simbi Kesiye Wabote v. Jackson Ude (the “Lawsuit”), in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (the “Court”) alleging that Ude committed several acts of defamation against Wabote; WHEREAS, Ude denies Wabote’s allegations and expressly denies any liability; WHEREAS, to avoid continued Litigation, the Parties desire and do enter into this Agreement; NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the promises and obligations hereto and other good and valuable consideration, the adequacy, sufficiency, and receipt of which is hereby conclusively acknowledged.”

The parties specifically agreed that “Ude represents and warrants that his employer, Point Blank News, will cooperate with him and work with him for the good faith and amicable resolution of this matter.

“Ude further represents and warrants that he does not own Point Blank News and that Point Blank News is his employer.”

According to the document, “Ude will reasonably and in good faith take down, delete, and destroy all articles and publications that allege any criminal or other misconduct by Wabote appearing on the Point Blank News website and from Ude’s social media accounts, especially, those publications in issue in this case. Thereafter, if Wabote reasonably discovers any article or publication violative of this agreement still existing, Wabote will inform Ude first and give Ude reasonable notice to delete, before such may be deemed a breach.”

The agreement stated that “Neither Ude nor Wabote will (directly or indirectly) engage in any act either to harass or spread false information against each other or each other’s family.”

They also agreed that “Neither Ude nor Wabote will {directly or indirectly) publish any false or defamatory information about each other or each other’s family, with liquidated damages of $25,000 per any such publication and attorneys’ fees to the winner of any litigation therefrom. In such a litigation, the Plaintiff is a winner if he wins, and the Defendant is a winner if the Plaintiff losses or if the case is dismissed (unless the case is dismissed on stipulation or consent of both parties).”

 

The agreement stated that “Within (7) days from the Effective Date, Wabote and Ude will execute and file with the Court the necessary stipulation to dismiss the Lawsuit, in the form of Annex A hereto.

“Within (7) days from the Effective Date, Ude will send Wabote (through the parties’ attorneys), and publish only once on the Point Blank News website (which shall be remain viewable from the homepage for seven days), a signed and dated certification, in the form of Annex B hereto.

“No amount of money will exchange hands between the Parties as part of this resolution and Agreement,” it said.

The general provisions in the settlement document noted that the parties had “opportunity to seek the advice of independent counsel, and that they are executing this agreement voluntarily after consultation with independent counsel.

“Accordingly, the normal rule of construction to the effect that any ambiguities are to be resolved against the drafting party shall not be employed in the interpretation of this Agreement.”

The governing Law for the agreement stated: “This Agreement and all disputes, claims, actions, suits or other proceedings arising hereunder or relating hereto (collectively “Disputes”) will be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the internal laws of the State of Pennsylvania. The Parties agree that all Disputes will be brought exclusively in the U.S. Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and irrevocably submits to the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of such court.”

It also stated that “The Parties hereto shall execute any further documents reasonably necessary to effectuate the terms of this Agreement, including Annex A and Annex B hereto.,” adding that “This Agreement contains the entire agreement and understanding between the Parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes any previous or contemporaneous agreement and understanding, whether written or oral, between the Parties regarding such subject matter.

Also, “the Parties acknowledge that no other Party nor any agent or attorney for any other Party has made any promise, representation, or warranty whatsoever, express or implied, written or oral, not contained herein, concerning the subject matter hereof to induce the execution of this Agreement, and each of the Parties acknowledges that it has not executed this Agreement in reliance on any promise, representation, or warranty not contained herein.”

Jackson Ude