Unpaid Bloggers’ Bid to Reopen Huffington Post Lawsuit Rejected

The bloggers say they deserve a cut of the $315 million AOL spent purchasing the site

Judges rejected a bid from unpaid bloggers at the Huffington Post to revive a lawsuit against AOL that contends the company should pay them a third of the $315 million it spent last year to buy the news site.

The three-judge panel of the second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York  on Wednesday denied the bloggers' claim for $105 million.

The case, led by Jonathan Tasini, said the bloggers contributed content to HuffPost, not believing it would be sold to a larger media company, according to court documents obtained by TheWrap.

An earlier class-action suit on behalf of the roughly 9,000 bloggers was dismissed in March by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in New York.

"Plaintiffs were perfectly aware the Huffington Post was a for-profit enterprise, which derived revenues from their submissions through advertising," the judges wrote in their decision. "Perhaps most importantly, at all times prior to the merger when they submitted their work to the Huffington Post, plaintiffs understood that they would receive compensation only in the form of exposure and promotion. Indeed, these arrangements have never changed."

Though the court admitted "no doubt a great disappointment to find that the Huffington Post did not live up to the ideals plaintiffs ascribed to it," the panel said the allegations did not warrant re-opening the case.

"We have always believed this case had no merit, and are pleased that the 2nd Circuit Court agreed with us," Rhoades Alderson, a spokesman for HuffPost, said in a statement to TheWrap.

Valeria Calafiore Healy, the lawyer representing the bloggers, was "unavailable to comment" to TheWrap, her receptionist said.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.