Segerblom wins legal battle against man who alleged defamation

By: - September 12, 2022 12:30 pm

A judge found that Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom’s tweets “regarding being sued by Mr. Miller are pure opinion and rhetorical hyperbole incapable of being either true or false.”

A lawsuit filed by Mack Miller, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor, against Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom has been dismissed, leaving Miller on the hook to Segerblom for just under $40,000. 

Mack’s suit stems from an incident during a September 2021 Clark County Commission meeting, at which the commission voted that covid disinformation is a public health concern.  

When security officers asked someone to put on a mask, some attendees became disruptive, and officers cleared the room. 

Mack was involved in a scuffle with police, according to video circulated on social media, and was forcibly removed by security.  

The lawsuit says Segerblom’s assistant told him she saw Miller throw a punch. 

“Thus, when asked for comment by the news media on September 22, 2021, Mr. Segerblom stated that Mr. Miller punched somebody and that he did so on video,” Segerblom’s attorney, Maggie McLetchie, wrote in a motion to dismiss Mack’s lawsuit under Nevada’s Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Law Against Public Participation) law, which protects individuals from being sued for defamation for speaking truthfully about a matter of public interest in a public forum. 

Videos revealed that Miller “wound up” in “punching motion”, according to Segerblom’s motion.  

Mack disputed Segerblom’s account. 

“Rather than seek an apology, clarification, or retraction, Miller retained an attorney and issued a demand letter ‘seeking the extortionate sum of $500,000.00 ‘to settle this case without further legal action being taken against’ Mr. Segerblom,” McLetchie wrote in the motion.  

Segerblom’s motion says he “fought back with political speech of his own. Specifically, Mr. Segerblom quote-tweeted his critic’s attack and mockingly stated: “mack ‘the traitor’ miller is suing me? omg.” Segerblom followed up with “being sued by mack miller is like being called ugly by a frog.” 

Miller later sued Segerblom for slander and libel. 

McLetchie wrote that Miller’s suit was an effort to extort Segerblom and draw attention to his own campaign. Miller also lost a race for the Nevada Assembly in 2018, and a bid for Las Vegas mayor in 2019. 

District Judge Erika Ballou granted Segerblom’s motion to dismiss earlier this summer, noting “the Court finds that Mr. Segerblom’s tweets regarding being sued by Mr. Miller are pure opinion and rhetorical hyperbole incapable of being either true or false. Therefore, the Court finds that the burden shifts to the Plaintiff to show with prima facie evidence a probability of prevailing on the claim and that Plaintiff Miller did not meet this burden.”

Ballou assessed a $10,000 judgment against Miller, the statutory penalty awarded to defendants in SLAPP suits.  This week she granted Segerblom’s motion for attorney fees of more than $28,000.  

Mack did not respond to a request for comment. 

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.