Nashville at law: Scene writer sued over portrayal of exec in ’08 story

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 12:03am
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Ex-Nashville Scene Staff Writer P.J. Tobia has been hit with a defamation lawsuit in Davidson County Circuit Court, the second such legal action taken against the reporter and Scene in the past year.

The recent plaintiff is La Vision Advertising head Anthony Lucas. His suit charges Tobia's May 1, 2008 article, “A Prominent Advertising Executive is Accused of Fraud and Extortion,” was untrue when it portrayed Lucas as under police suspicion for extortion.

“The representation is not only defamatory but also defamatory per se in that this representation wrongly and inaccurately had and has a tendency to injure the plaintiff in his office, profession, calling or trade: that of an advertising executive,” the filing reads.

“Mr. PJ Tobia was given the opportunity to see the verification of all the questions that he asked. He refused to see the supporting evidence,” Lucas told The City Paper. “It was offered to him, it is on tape, he has a copy of it. I have a copy of it. He refused to do it.”

Lucas' suit asks for $5 million in damages. He has yet to engage an attorney for his case. Scene Editor Pete Kotz said the company's legal team would fight the suit and declined further comment.

This is the second recent defamation suit targeting Tobia, who has left the Scene to work as a freelance correspondent in Afghanistan. The first suit stemmed from an article the writer did in October 2007 representing an adult dancer as engaged in prostitution. The dancer — Michelle Peacock — filed a defamation suit last October.

According to Steve Suskin, legal counsel for Scene parent company Village Voice Media, Peacock's lawsuit is still pending.

United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee

Heritage Equity Group 401(k) Savings Plan, et al. vs. Mid Atlantic Capital Corp. and SunGard Institutional Brokerage Inc. Filed April 30. After years of litigation stemming from the implosion of 1Point Solutions following the fraud perpetrated by its founder Barry Stokes, more of the civil cases filed by victims are being settled.

An order filed late last month by Judge Aleta Trauger effectively brought to an end the case brought by a group of creditors led by the Heritage Equity 401(k) plan, which was formerly known as Beck/Arnley Worldparts. They had filed a claim against Mid Atlantic and SunGard, seeking the restitution of money they had been embezzled by Stokes’ companies.

Back in September, the court had dismissed all of the claims against the defendants save for their common-law negligence claim. According to the recent order, Sunguard has agreed to pay $950,000 into “a trust account designated by counsel for the Plaintiffs pending distribution to the Plaintiffs.”

Allstate Insurance Co. v. Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. Filed May 5. Chicago-based Allstate’s complaint Nashville Gas’ parent company centers on a 2007 gas leak beneath a residence insured by Allstate. The leak went undetected and eventually ignited, causing an explosion that not surprisingly caused significant damage to the house.

Allstate paid out just shy of $240,000 for the claim and is now seeking to recover that amount plus attorney’s fees and prejudgment interest from Piedmont.

Filing the lawsuit locally on behalf of the Chicago insurer is private-practice attorney J. David Wicker Jr.

Center for Comprehensive Services Inc. vs. Sumner Regional Health Systems. Filed May 1. Boston-based CCS says Sumner Regional owes it roughly a half million dollars worth of fees stemming from an engagement last year.

According to the complaint, CCS contracted with Sumner to provide “management, clinical, and nursing services.” CCS claims that from June to September of 2008, it did not receive any payments from Sumner. In March, the hospital paid $27,500 towards the balance, but the lawsuit claims CCS is still owed more than $434,000.

Filing the lawsuit on behalf of CCS are Brigid M. Carpenter and William A. Lewis of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz.

Sumner Regional hit dire financial straits in 2008, which early this year led credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings to downgrade the hospital, saying “the organization is experiencing tremendous financial stress resulting in a profound weakening of its credit profile.”

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Vermeer of Tennessee Inc. Chapter 11 petition filed May 5. The Murfreesboro-based heavy equipment dealer was founded in 1991 and sells and rents equipment from such manufacturers as Vermeer, Wildcat and Yanmar. Initial court documents did not list a lot of specific numbers, but ballparks the company's liabilities at between $10 million and $50 million and its assets at less than $50,000. Among the business' largest creditors are Birmingham-based Central Leasing, Illinois-based GE Capital and Chicago-based Hitachi Capital.

The company is being represented by attorney Samuel K. Crocker. Calls to the firm's president, Wendell De Vries, have not been returned.

18 Comments on this post:

By: patty8118 on 5/11/09 at 5:50

wowo, P.J again. Makes you think if this is a trashy paper.
There are rumors that P.J is the defender of Yuri Cunza. If Yuri does not like someone or is a financial threat to him, then executioner P.J will come to rescue him.
He did the same to Officer Borges and others.
Are they lovers.

By: barbara6182 on 6/4/09 at 12:58

Who knows how many people have been victims of this bad apple.
Some even say that he enjoys other sexual preferences.
Ever wonder where he is now. Possibly fired by the new publisher

By: hoodia22 on 6/8/09 at 9:06

Hey, How nice is it to see this rat is fired together with his boss.
He really disliked many people and wrote untrue articles about many people. There are a few people who asked him to be a write about Tennessee Hispanic Chamber or Juan Borges.
This Ir

By: Alexander8118 on 6/9/09 at 2:07

Where P.J Tobia now. As some say he is possibly buying opium to sell in Italy or US.
He believes that he could be another Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and this trashy paper is not Washington Post. He damaged the reputation of many and ran away. Amazi

By: Alexander8118 on 6/9/09 at 2:08

Where P.J Tobia now. As some say he is possibly buying opium to sell in Italy or US.
He believes that he could be another Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and this trashy paper is not Washington Post. He damaged the reputation of many and ran away. Amazingly he never wrote about his friends such as John Lamb, Yuri Cunza, Fred Gonzalez and a few others.
Yuri Cunza is an admitted criminal but nothing is reported about him. Amazingly he used Nashville Scene to destroy reputation of people that Yuri Cunza considered a threat to his so called presidency of Nashville Hispanic Chamber. What a joke.
It is also reported that they are lovers. Who knows maybe that is true. But no one should expect anything from a trashy paper like Scene. Where is her boss now.

By: mohsen3728 on 6/13/09 at 3:48

I was just told that he is in Afghanistan. Well, when he comes back he maybe a addicted to drugs or have aids.
You see Afghans love white boys because as they say. And there is no contact between a man and a woman. ;o)
And they grow opium. Maybe that is why he is there or loves other things

By: johnroland on 6/28/09 at 6:11

There is a rumor that Nashville Scene is going to be hit with another suite against P.J Tobia.
Wowo, How great that would be. Maybe it is time to get polygraph test of each reporter when they write an article

By: johnroland on 6/28/09 at 6:11

There is a rumor that Nashville Scene is going to be hit with another suite against P.J Tobia.
Wowo, How great that would be. Maybe it is time to get polygraph test of each reporter when they write an article

By: Alexander8118 on 7/5/09 at 3:17

We just found out that he may have a different sexual preferences. Someone close to him said that. WOWO

By: moyer2009 on 7/12/09 at 1:55

If you are looking for a trashy newspaper then read it. There is no sports, no entertainment, just trash.
What could you possibly learn from these trashy articles? A big nothing. Uh yes, nudity, dating, where to find a nude bar etc
Sad. Pitiful. Wonder if these people who publish know they are destroying our society by teaching our kids trashy material and writing untrue stories to deceive people

By: moyer2009 on 7/12/09 at 1:55

If you are looking for a trashy newspaper then read it. There is no sports, no entertainment, just trash.
What could you possibly learn from these trashy articles? A big nothing. Uh yes, nudity, dating, where to find a nude bar etc
Sad. Pitiful. Wonder if these people who publish know they are destroying our society by teaching our kids trashy material and writing untrue stories to deceive people

By: Jill812097 on 10/4/09 at 1:31

Has anyone checked into this? Two days ago there was a Hispanic Heritage day at the Sun Trust Bank.
I was talking to a friend when I heard a Hispanic lawyer was threatening this person. I paid attention more. The Hispanic lawyer was
Black mailing Lucas – threading him with a suite if he enforced the non-compete agreement against one of his former employees
Who has been using years of his work. This lawyer also told him that if he tried to work on any marketing program that a Hispanic is involved he would sue Lucas. He said he would do it for free and called himself – a knight shining armor.
It made me think how interesting. Everyone is trying to stick it to him because he is non-Hispanics and more knowledgeable than all of them. This lawyer I found out was Gregg Ramos.

By: Jill812097 on 10/4/09 at 1:31

Has anyone checked into this? Two days ago there was a Hispanic Heritage day at the Sun Trust Bank.
I was talking to a friend when I heard a Hispanic lawyer was threatening this person. I paid attention more. The Hispanic lawyer was
Black mailing Lucas – threading him with a suite if he enforced the non-compete agreement against one of his former employees
Who has been using years of his work. This lawyer also told him that if he tried to work on any marketing program that a Hispanic is involved he would sue Lucas. He said he would do it for free and called himself – a knight shining armor.
It made me think how interesting. Everyone is trying to stick it to him because he is non-Hispanics and more knowledgeable than all of them. This lawyer I found out was Gregg Ramos.

By: jack adams on 10/18/09 at 5:33

have you ever thought who was behind the article P.J Tobia wrote.
Here are some names to consider as reported by various people.
Where does he get his money to go to Italy or invest in a mexican restaurant in Mexico.
some people say he is into making x rated movies and selling them in Mexico
Yuri Cunza a criminal that no one knows where he gets his money from. and of course there are a few Hispanics involved.
Has anyone checked into Yuris sexual needs. He is always seen in nudity places.

By: miki.olson on 11/1/09 at 12:48

One should wonder who is benefiting from these article. Not just this article but also any article P.J Tobia wrote about Robert Chavez, officer Juan Berges, Anthony Lucas, Judge Salmon and many others. He is said to be the executioner working for Ramos and Cunza.
Could it be his buddy lover and friend Yuri Cunza and his no good chamber and who has committed so many crimes and found guilty of them.
Could it be Greg Ramos and John Lamb two individuals who have been behind everything? Has anyone asked Greg Ramos why he hated Juan Borges to win the elections when he rain for the office.
Has anyone asked Yuri Cunza where he gets his income? Reportedly he does not have a job and chamber does not have more than 100 members.
Has anyone asked P.J Tobia why he did not write about sex scandals of Marcela Gomez a friend of Greg Ramos?
Has anyone asked why Greg Ramos threatens people with law suite if he does not like someone even if he does not have a plaintiff?
You do your homework.

By: miki.olson on 11/1/09 at 12:49

One should wonder who is benefiting from these article. Not just this article but also any article P.J Tobia wrote about Robert Chavez, officer Juan Berges, Anthony Lucas, Judge Salmon and many others. He is said to be the executioner working for Ramos and Cunza.
Could it be his buddy lover and friend Yuri Cunza and his no good chamber and who has committed so many crimes and found guilty of them.
Could it be Greg Ramos and John Lamb two individuals who have been behind everything? Has anyone asked Greg Ramos why he hated Juan Borges to win the elections when he rain for the office.
Has anyone asked Yuri Cunza where he gets his income? Reportedly he does not have a job and chamber does not have more than 100 members.
Has anyone asked P.J Tobia why he did not write about sex scandals of Marcela Gomez a friend of Greg Ramos?
Has anyone asked why Greg Ramos threatens people with law suite if he does not like someone even if he does not have a plaintiff?
You do your homework.

By: miki.olson on 4/25/10 at 3:13

There are people who say that P.J tobia is selling X rated movies with Yuri Cunza in Mexico.
Do you think P.J Tobia was paid to write all these articles about different people who did not like his girl friend Yuri Cunza

By: ABBAS.theworm.T... on 10/19/11 at 7:46

Since these sick and delusional posts have continued to be left up, slandering the people mentioned in the above, I feel it is only right to point out some interesting similarities to them. As you will notice, posts have a different name associated with each of them. (rather normal eh?) They either end numerically or use a dot to separate first and last names. The statements all attack the credibility and character of the above mentioned. The poster even goes as far as to suggest sexual preferences and accuse the above mentioned of criminal activity without solid evidence to support his allegations. These posts are the repetitive acts of the same person, the same person the City Scene originally wrote the factually based article entitled, " Not Who He Says He Is," regarding self described spanish marketing guru Anthony Lucas AKA Abbas Terhani. A spanish marketing guru who is born an Iranian and claims he is latino...that is until you corner him about his heritage. On Biznik, he claims to have 20yrs experience in spanish advertising. What's funny is hasn't even been in the US that long. Lucas also claims to have two advanced degrees from elite european universities, but fumbles when asked from what college, what year and to provide proof of a diploma of some sort. He is also notorious for befriending immigrant business owners under the guise to help promote their business and then somehow he always ends up filing a frivolous lawsuit against them. That is how he makes his money. The above mentioned were not fired and the suit was thrown out of court. Public records are available of these "frivalous" cases through Davidson County Circuit Court. This man is relentless and will not stop once he gets started, please learn from this and do your research before getting in bed with this guy. Check letthetruthout.com and find out how Lucas is a , "Expert in Spanish Advertising" along with other wild tales and foolish self embellishments.