GALVESTON - A man who is the target of a $10 million defamation lawsuit claims the suit is frivolous, recent court records show.
Richard Alan Collier was accused of making defamatory remarks about Ron Benotti in a suit Benotti filed Nov. 29, 2012.
In Collier's four page response entered Jan. 9, he claims Benotti's suit against him is "frivolous."
Benotti, the president of Seascape Owners Association, claims that Collier made defamatory remarks about him and emailed the statements to numerous individuals.
The plaintiff alleges Collier wrongfully labeled him as "arrogant," "incompetent," "dishonest," "unethical" and "harassing."
According to the suit, the respondent said Benotti mishandled a beach nourishment dune restoration project, acted unethically and illegally with no regard to the association’s bylaws or state laws and engaged in character assassination and a “personal vendetta” against him.
Collier's e-mails apparently stated that the complainant committed election fraud and accused Collier of lying and financially misleading the homeowners association.
Benotti reportedly gained a bad reputation and suffered from severe emotional distress as a result of the acts in question, the original petition says.
The defendant's answer requests that the plaintiff provide all documents pertaining to the litigation and answer a set of interrogatories within a 30-day time period.
Attorney Albert Lee Giddens with Giddens & Burns in Pasadena is representing Collier.
Case No. 12-CV-2972