By: Dale Schafer
HUMO Corp, a cannabis brand company, has sued a former marketing firm and its two founders for Breach of Contract, Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, and Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Relations. The allegations grow out of the development of the Humo brand by Latina influencer, Susana (Susie) Plascencia and the marketing company, Nightshift Digital and co-owner, Robert Lady, along with cannabis company POSSIBL. The brand was touted as authentic Mexican and Latina and Plascencia was brought onboard because, among other attributes, she was known for her advocacy for Mexican and Latina issues, especially in the cannabis industry.
The defendants response to the lawsuit was to file a Motion to strike portions of the complaint under California’s AntiSLAPP Statute. Plascencia was fired by HUMO and she advised some of her contacts of her termination. She claims what she said was protected free speech on an issue of public interest. The AntiSLAPP statute allows for complaints, or portions thereof, to be struck if filed to stifle free speech, or other forms of public participation. Speech in public forums on issues of public interest is protected if a complaint is filed to silence the speaker and thwart public participation in free speech.
The defendants have supported their Motion to Strike with affidavits from the defendants and others that refute the plaintiff’s allegations in their complaint. The hearing will be held on October 30, 2023. The Plaintiffs will need to file affidavits representing admissible evidence to refute what the defendants have put forward as evidence. We will wait to see what those affidavits or declarations state. If the defendants prevail, the plaintiffs will be paying defendants attorneys fees involved in bringing the Motion to Strike under the AntiSLAPP statute.