On 27 July 2018, the so-named National Institute of Truth Verification (NITV) of West Palm Beach, Florida, which markets a scientifically baseless “lie detector” called the Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) filed a federal lawsuit against the marketer of a rival pseudoscientific voice based lie detector, Dektor Corporation, and its sole proprietor, Arthur Herring III of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania.
NITV alleged “false advertisement, unfair competition, and product disparagement under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)” and “deceptive and unfair trade practices under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act” and originally sought a total of $4,080,000 in claimed damages. NITV later increased its total claim to $17,871,977.36.
Dektor and Herring, who ultimately proceeded pro se, failed to timely file responses to pleadings in the lawsuit, and the court, which also found that Herring committed “substantial discovery violations,” ultimately entered default judgments against both Dektor and Herring personally.
On Monday, 16 December 2019, the court issued its final judgment, ordering Dektor and Herring to pay NITV $424,673.96 in base damages, which was doubled to $849,347.92 “in light of Defendants’ willful violation of the Lanham Act, misuse of the internet to convey materially disparaging information about Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s product, and discovery misconduct leading to an additional unknown amount of actual damages.”
The final order includes a permanent injunction essentially prohibiting Dektor and Herring from communicating any information critical of NITV, its CVSA product, or its founder, Charles Humble, to anyone.
As previously reported on AntiPolygraph.org, an earlier default judgment in the case ordered, among other things, that Herring remove from the internet a website with content critical of NITV that Herring had created. Much of the content of that website was nonetheless substantially true, and a mirror of the banned website remains available online via Archive.org’s Wayback Machine.
In the course of NITV’s litigation against Dektor, NITV also threatened a federal lawsuit against Dektor’s computer consultant and, without legal basis, attempted to compel AntiPolygraph.org to remove all content mentioning NITV and CVSA.