In a class action lawsuit filed today, multiple plaintiffs are suing author Greg Mortenson for damages that include a donation made and compensation for the purchase price of his book “Three Cups of Tea”.
The lawsuit cites fraud and racketeering for his alleged fabrication of details in the book. The plaintiffs claim that they would not have purchased the book or donated to the Central Asia Institute had they known some of his accounts to be false. However the burden of proof is now squarely on the plaintiffs’ shoulders. They must prove that Mortenson fabricated these details in order to win damages from him.
This lawsuit comes almost three weeks after 60 Minutes unveiled a documentary that accused Mortenson of several fabrications in his best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea”. Author Jon Krakauer subsequently published a book entitled “Three Cups of Deceit”, outlining Mortenson’s inaccuracies. The book’s contents are being reviewed by Mortenson’s publisher and the Montana Attorney General is investigating alleged inappropriate expenditures of donated monies on the part of the Central Asia Institute.
The University of Louisville announced Mortenson as the recipient of the 2011 Grawemeyer Award for Education the week before the allegations were made public. The university has not made a decision on whether to rescind the award.