Chobani Yogurt is filed a lawsuit against far-right radio host Alex Jones, accusing him of publishing fabricated stories about the company on his website, Infowars.
The suit, filed Monday at the Idaho District Court, claims that Jones published false stories linking Chobani owner Hamdi Ulukaya to a sexual assault case involving refugee children, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The Infowars story in question is a video released April 11 titled “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists,” which claimed Chobani was responsible for an increase in crime and tuberculosis in Twin Falls, Idaho, where the company opened the largest yogurt plant in the world in 2012.
Jones’ site also attacked Chobani for its policy of hiring refugees in Twin Falls, home of a refugee resettlement center run by the College of Southern Idaho. The video also mentioned a separate incident in Twin Falls involving three refugee boys who admitted to charges connected to the assault of a five-year-old girl.
Chobani’s lawyers note that the claim mentioned in the video’s title that Chobani had brought in “migrant rapists” was neither mentioned nor proven in the report, but has nonetheless led to a call among Infowars readers to boycott the company, according to the Tribune.
“The defendants defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani’s products,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit seeks at least $10,000 in damages from Jones, whom Chobani’s lawyers say refused requests from the company to retract the report.
“(Jones) is no stranger to spurious statements. He has claimed that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut,” the corporation’s attorneys wrote. “Mr. Jones has now taken aim at Chobani and the Twin Falls community.”