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MADD files lawsuit against DAMMADD

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving is attempting to "bankrupt" an anti-drug organization, started by a man in honor of his dead son, by deliberately filing a trademark infringement lawsuit in the wrong courts, the man claimed Monday.

In legal papers filed in U.S. District Court in White Plains, lawyers for Dads and Mad Moms Against Drug Dealers accused the Texas-based MADD of intentionally filing its lawsuit in the wrong district.

"There does not appear to be any valid reason for bringing this suit in the Southern District of New York, and plaintiffs were placed on notice in a prior case ... that the defendant resided in the Northern District of New York," wrote attorney John Hartman, representing DAMMADD.

"It appears that plaintiff is seeking to make this case as burdensome as possible on the defendant," according to the 20-page document.

DAMMADD founder Steven Steiner was more direct about MADD's intent.

"They are playing games with us. They are trying to bankrupt us," Steiner said in a telephone interview. "They have no case so they are doing this intentionally because they know they have the financial resources to outlast us."

MADD officials had no immediate response to Steiner's comments.

In a written statement, MADD Executive Director Dean Wilkerson called the trademark infringement lawsuit "an unfortunate necessity" brought about by failed discussions that his organization was "backed into a corner and forced to defend the name that we have worked so hard to establish over the past 23 years."

Steiner's lawyers have asked the lawsuit be dismissed or transferred to the Northern District, based in Syracuse. Steiner lives in Tioga Center, a Broome County village 85 miles south of Syracuse.

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