StemExpress has won a resounding victory in its lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and David Daleiden. On February 16, 2016, the Los Angeles Superior Court completely rejected a motion by CMP and Daleiden seeking to dismiss StemExpress’s lawsuit against the radical anti-abortion group and its founder. In denying the motion, the court found merit in StemExpress’s claims that CMP and Daleiden violated California law, including two criminal statutes, ranging from illegal video recordings to theft and cybercrime. As a result of the court’s decision, StemExpress is free to proceed with its lawsuit to collect damages from CMP, Daleiden, and the co-conspirators who provided financial support for their illegal efforts.
StemExpress is also gratified that the court fully rejected the defenses asserted by CMP and Daleiden. CMP’s suggestions that their illegal actions and subsequent dissemination of widely discredited and heavily edited videos were somehow justified because of their absurd belief that StemExpress was “engaged in homicide” and “illegally profiting from the sale of human fetal tissue” were soundly dismissed by the court.
This victory was built upon StemExpress’s earlier court wins granting discovery, including the sworn deposition testimony of Daleiden and his accomplice, Sandra Merritt. Along with incriminating documents produced by CMP, the testimony of Daleiden and Merritt led to the unraveling of CMP’s bogus claim that it was simply engaged in “investigative journalism.” Instead, it solidified that they were breaking the law and manufacturing lies.
While the court also permitted StemExpress to depose Holly O’Donnell—whose unsupported statements formed the backbone of CMP’s failed defenses—O’Donnell evaded service of a subpoena and CMP did not make her available to provide testimony under oath. The court concluded that CMP’s “dependence on O’Donnell’s testimony is misplaced because O’Donnell’s statements are uncorroborated and unreliable.” CMP was forced to provide evidence and unedited videos that included their interview with O’Donnell, in which she thanked Daleiden for financial support, stated how much she enjoyed working with StemExpress staff, and disclosed that she still uses Planned Parenthood for her birth control and health care needs.
The evidence of illegal activity obtained through this litigation supports StemExpress claims for financial damages and exposes CMP’s illegal activities.