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Competition, Florida Style

Shawn Esfahani fled Iran’s Islamic Revolution as a teen and came to America. He has been successful here: he owns a “mega” car dealership in Daphne, Ala. But a competitor, Bob Tyler Toyota in Pensacola, Fla., just over the state border, started calling Esfahani’s dealership “Taliban Toyota” and told potential car buyers that going to the Alabama dealer helped “fund terrorism.” Esfahani sued for slander, and a jury has awarded him $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Bob Tyler declined to comment on the verdict, but Esfahani did. “It’s very hurtful,” he said. “When you live in this country, you can’t believe someone would accuse you of those things just to sell a car.” (RC/Mobile Press-Register) ...Heck: they’ll do that just to get a vote.
Publication Date: 27 November 2011
This story is in True’s book collection, Volume 18.
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