The lawsuits started roughly a year ago and they have evolved over time to include new and different plaintiffs, but today will be the first day that lawyers for Greg Mortenson, CAI, David Oliver Relin, and Penguin enter a defense in a courtroom. Judge Sam Haddon of the Federal Courthouse in Great Falls Montana will preside over hearings to decide whether the case over fabrication in Three Cups of Tea should move forward. Four plaintiffs from three states have alleged that Mortenson and company intentionally made up facts in Three Cups of Tea in order to trick people into buying the books and donating to the charity.
The case is the second major event this month related to Mortenson. On April 6, the Montana attorney general kicked him off of the board of CAI and fined him $1 million for using charitable contributions to travel and pay for the promotion of his book. The next financial punishment could be even bigger, as the plaintiffs are asking for a dollar amount that is triple the amount of sales of Three Cups of Tea, plus punitive damages.