This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 26, 2022:
In March 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Houston ear, nose, and throat doctor Mary Talley Bowden offered to serve patients whose primary physicians refused to see them.
She began using ivermectin, and then, as her personal experience with it as part of a multimodal treatment protocol grew, she began sharing her results on her Twitter account.
She had privileges at Houston Methodist Hospital, and when the hospital CEO Marc Boom learned about her tweets, he used the hospital’s Twitter account to respond. In November of 2021 he tweeted:
These opinions, which are harmful to the community, do not reflect reliable medical evidence or the values of Houston Methodist, where we have treated more than 25,000 COVID-19 inpatients, and where all our employees and physicians are vaccinated to protect our patients.
Dr. Bowden, who has never admitted a patient at Houston Methodist Hospital, is spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based on science.
In January, Bowden sued the hospital to obtain information about how much money it had received from treating those 25,000 patients.
On Monday she sued again, this time claiming that Boom’s tweets were defamatory and had damaged her reputation and her practice.
The lawsuit claimed that
Without notice, they published false and defamatory statements to the press and on social media, affording no due process, acting contrary to and with reckless disregard for both the letter and spirit of Methodist’s bylaws.
Beginning in November 2021, Methodist and Boom, took to Twitter and published a series of statements of fact about Dr. Bowden that injured Dr. Bowden’s reputation, exposed her to public hatred, contempt, ridicule, financial injury, and impugned her professional judgment, integrity, honesty, and veracity as a licensed medical professional.
For proof, her attorneys quoted 19 disparaging responses to Boom’s tweets, including repeating the phrase “spreading misinformation,” “spreading dangerous misinformation,” and “spreading Covid misinformation” from Boom’s original tweets.
Bowden claimed that Boom and Houston Methodist Hospital not only knew their statements were false, but that they knew that the compliant media would spread the canard across the land.
Her attorneys wrote:
Dr. Bowden’s opinions were not and are not harmful to patients or others in the community.
Dr. Bowden has extensive first-hand experience treating COVID. She is considered an expert by other physicians who believe in outpatient treatment of COVID.
She has kept over 4,000 patients out of the hospital, and no one who has received early treatment under her care has died.
Dr. Bowden has had no serious adverse reactions from using Ivermectin.
Methodist and Boom’s Statements are provably false.
They are suing the hospital for $25 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages to be determined by a jury, and other costs and expenses recoverable under the law.
They justify this amount:
In this case, Dr. Bowden seeks presumed damages, actual damages (past and future mental anguish and past and future injury to reputation), special damages (including career damage and impairment of future earning capacity) and punitive damages as a result of the defamation and defamation by implication.
Lawyers defending the hospital will be hard-pressed to deny Bowden’s claims:
Prior to publication, Methodist and Boom knew from the hospital’s own data collected from its patients and from their review of scientific studies and reports about Ivermectin and other off-label medications and the efficacy and risks of the vaccines, including VAERS data, that Dr. Bowden’s statements were true and were supported by an abundance of reliable medical evidence, including expert opinions from other renowned medical professionals.
Methodist and Boom knew that Dr. Bowden’s use of Ivermectin to treat patients with COVID had not harmed a single patient, and that there was no public record of any patient complaints.
Moreover, Dr. Bowden was collaborating with 2 ENTs at Methodist to publish data related to all the COVID patients Dr. Bowden was testing, so for Methodist and Boom to say that Dr. Bowden was “dangerous” was clearly reckless disregard for the truth. Methodist and Boom published the Statements in spite of their actual knowledge of the truth, and in order to disparage and discredit Dr. Bowden’s professional reputation.
Bowden’s attorneys, Madhu Sekharan and Steven Biss, are likely taking the case on a contingent basis. They are basing their position on a prior case, Don King Productions, Inc. v. Walt Disney Co., where the court ruled:
An intention to portray a public figure in a negative light, even when motivated by ill will or evil intent, is not sufficient to show actual malice unless the publisher intended to inflict harm through knowing or reckless falsehood. (Emphasis added)
The New American will keep readers informed as the story develops.