PITTSBURGH – A Florida-based Web site that invites women to warn others about men they've dated cannot be sued in a Pennsylvania court by an attorney who said its postings falsely claimed he was unfaithful and had sexually transmitted diseases.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. said he had no jurisdiction over the lawsuit Todd Hollis filed last June against DontDateHimGirl.com and its creator, Tasha C. Cunningham, 34, of Miami.
Hollis, of Pittsburgh, claimed Cunningham's site is liable because it solicits negative comments but does not screen them for truthfulness. Hollis also is suing those who posted comments that questioned his sexuality and claimed he tried to dodge paying child support.
Cunningham and her attorneys say a 1996 federal law shields Web sites from such lawsuits when they merely transmit user postings.
Wettick did not address that issue and ruled simply that Pennsylvania's court system has no jurisdiction over a Florida Web site, even though Pennsylvanians post messages on it.
The ruling, issued last week, does not address Hollis' still-pending claims against women who posted the messages. One of the women has denied making any posts. Another acknowledged posting comments but denied damaging his reputation.
Hollis said he has not decided whether to sue the Web site again in another venue.
Cunningham's date-dissing site has tripled in size since the lawsuit was filed, with 27,000 profiles that she markets as "a new cost-effective weapon in the war on cheating men." Cunningham works full-time on the site and is developing others, including a Spanish-language version that will launch in June.