Last Wednesday, Coursey sued Nicole Cusic alleging she has libeled, slandered and made defamatory statements against him. His complaint further alleges Cusic’s statements were made “maliciously and with a reckless disregard for the truth and with a willful disregard for the reputation and rights of the plaintiff.”
His attorney, Mark Edwards of Paducah, filed the suit on Coursey’s behalf in Marshall Circuit Court where Edwards said the defendant’s statements were publicized in “news conferences, press releases and correspondence, which were meant for dissemination to news outlets throughout Kentucky.”
Marshall County is the largest county in Coursey’s district with Lyon County and one precinct in McCracken County comprising the remainder.
Cusic named Coursey one of three defendants in a lawsuit her attorney, Thomas Clay, filed in Franklin Circuit Court on Oct. 1. The other two defendants were the LRC and its former director, Bobby Sherman. Her complaint alleges that Coursey made sexually harassing comments about interns and LRC employees. She claims that when she complained to him, Coursey retaliated by having her transferred from the House to the Senate offices.
Edwards, on Coursey’s behalf, has denied Cusic’s accusations in his answer to her complaint.
Edwards said Coursey’s alleged inappropriate comments were made in February 2012, and that Cusic filed her lawsuit only after conferring with Republicans in the Senate.
“There are two things driving Ms. Cusic’s lawsuit — money and politics,” Coursey said in a statement issued through Edwards. “Ms. Cusic thinks she sees an opportunity to cash in on other lawsuits previously filed against a retired legislator and the Legislative Research Commission’s former director by smearing my name and assaulting my character; while my partisan political opponents, with whom Ms. Cusic met before making her outrageously false accusations, think they see an opportunity to do what they have never been able to do at the ballot box.”
Coursey’s statement said he will not be intimidated by Cusic or her “big city lawyer nor will I yield one inch to my partisan political opponents.”
He added that he will fight to clear his name and continue working for the people who elected him.
Cusic’s statements were false and unprivileged and she knew the statements were false and unprivileged, Coursey’s complaint says. “The statements were communicated and disseminated to others to give a negative impression of the plaintiff and they were meant to cause harm to his reputation,” the lawsuit reads.
The suit claims Cusic’s statements caused Coursey to “suffer emotional stress, humiliation and anxiety.” And that he suffered damage to his reputation and will continue to suffer damage in the future. The complaint alleges that because of Coursey’s position in the House, he will incur expenses to repair his damaged reputation and may incur other expenses and loss of income because of Cusic’s actions.
Edwards asks the court to award Coursey punitive damages because he alleges the defendant’s statements were “malicious with a reckless disregard for the truth.”
He also asks for a judgment against Cusic for compensatory damages more than $5,000, a trial by jury and court costs including attorney’s fees.