April 16, 2009

Woman wins ‘haunted’ mill lawsuit

The owner of Ohio's oldest standing grist mill has won $125,000 in a lawsuit against a Web site operator who claimed the property was haunted.

Melissa Duer, owner of Staley Mill and a descendant of builder Eli Staley, said in her lawsuit against forgottenohio.com proprietor Andrew Henderson that the Web site's false claims about the mill and Staley family history led to numerous thrill seekers and ghost hunters attempting to peek inside the facility, the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News reported Thursday.

The suit said Duer and her husband were forced to spend thousands of dollars on security at the mill as a result of materials published on Henderson's Web site.

Judge Robert Lindeman of Miami County Common Pleas Court issued a default judgment for Duer after Henderson failed to respond to the legal challenge.

Lindeman also approved Duer's request for a court order banning Henderson from publishing material about the mill on forgottenohio.com or any other Web site.