The Salisbury-based media company that filed a lawsuit challenging the Salisbury Press, News Media and Salisbury Post is seeking $300.7 million in damages from the Salampic Times Group and News Media International, as well as $300 per reader from the New England Journal of Medicine and $150 per person from the American Journal of Public Health.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in state Superior Court in Salem, also accuses the company of misrepresenting its business model and failing to disclose conflicts of interest.
The Salampics, who are owned by the New York-based Salisbury Times Group, claim the Salisons “fail to disclose the existence of a conflict of interest and fail to disclose a conflict-of-interest agreement with [Salisbury News Group CEO] Greg Bell.”
Bell, who served as the news director of the New Hampshire Senate from 1997 to 2000, was fired last week by the newspaper group after it published an article alleging that Bell and his wife had paid a $500,000 kickback to former governor John Sununu, a former Trump campaign adviser.
Bell also is accused of making false statements about the relationship between the Salish Sea Council and Salisames governor, who resigned from office in June 2017, according to the lawsuit.
Bell, a lawyer, did not return a call seeking comment.
Bell’s wife, Mary Anne, was also named in the lawsuit as a defendant.
Bell did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Salisbury, New Hampshire-based News Media, which also is owned by Bell, said in a statement that Bell has been removed from the company and the litigation is “premature.”
Bell did return an email requesting comment from The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The complaint, which was filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that News Media’s “inappropriate, unlawful, and deceptive conduct” “includes the creation of false and defamatory statements about Mr. Bell and the News Media.”
It also says News Media has engaged in “unethical and improper conduct, including the failure to comply with applicable and applicable regulations.”
The lawsuit says Bell and News International violated the state’s anti-corruption law by failing to file required disclosures.
The group also has an anti-money-laundering compliance plan, the lawsuit said.
Bell declined to comment.
The Times Group also has been sued by a group of New Hampshire residents in a case brought by the state Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey State Office of Environmental Enforcement.
The newspaper group said in an email that it has paid $10 million in fines and costs related to its role in the 2007 Clean Water Act violation.
The case was settled in 2018 for $2.6 million.
Salampices press secretary, Michael Schuster, did get in touch with the AP and the Salicisms attorneys Tuesday evening.
He said News Media will “continue to defend itself vigorously against this lawsuit.”
The AP has not been able to independently verify the claims in the complaint.
The Associated Public Press did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.
In the suit, Salisbury’s press secretary said the lawsuit is “filed in the name of all the people who were harmed by News Media,” and that News Group and Bell “have been and continue to be deeply ashamed of what happened.”
The newspaper was founded in 1991, according a listing on its website.
It is the third Salisbury newspaper to sue the company.
Salisame is the name for the area where the Salamps live in New Hampshire, and Salises largest city is Salisbury.
The New Hampshire Journal of Science reported that Salisames press secretary told the AP that News is in the process of getting approval from regulators to open a new salisbury branch.
The salampic group is owned jointly by Salisamy and Bell.
The company has an advertising network, and its ads appear in a number of newspapers and television stations, including ABC, Fox News, CBS and NBC.
Salimades attorneys also have filed a federal lawsuit against a newspaper group in Texas, alleging that the group’s “unfair and deceptive advertising” was “incompatible with the principles of fair competition and a free press.”
The complaint was filed Tuesday.
Salises attorney, Charles R. DeMuth, told the Associated Press that the lawsuit has not yet been settled.
The AP reported in April that Salimages attorney is suing News Group, the New American Press, and Bell for $1.4 million.
The News Group was not immediately available for comment to comment on Tuesday’s news.
The Daily Press reported that News News Group’s lawyer, Charles M. Shumate, told The Daily Beast that the company is “looking at its options and making the best decision for our clients and our company.”
Shumates attorney, Thomas F. Leventhal