PHOTO: Kevin Merillat (via Facebook)

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – The CEO of Merillat Pools and former 2022 Republican State Delegate Candidate for District 27C, Kevin Merillat, has filed a defamation lawsuit against a Lusby couple over social media posts and videos of him taken in St. Leonard.

The video in question was filmed around 4:00 p.m. on May 20, 2022, at The Tavern Restaurant and Bar and featured Merillat engaging in conversation with other patrons.

According to court documents, the couple who filmed the video, Vaughn and Dominique Evans, intentionally mischaracterized the video and subsequently used that mischaracterization to slander Merillat.

Photo from Dominique Evans Instagram account regarding the incident.

Dominique Evans would take to social media almost immediately afterward to accuse Merillat of being a racist and claim that he was involved with the KKK.

The accusations mentioned Merillat’s campaign as well as his business.

On May 21, Merillat issued a statement on social media, saying “A story that paints me in a very negative manner is fabricated and an [outright] lie. I will not allow such an ugly lie to dissuade me. Those that know me and my family know our true character and what we stand for.”

Merillat sought out help from the President of the Calvert County NAACP, Michael Kent, whose subsequent investigation he said revealed that the Evans couple had been disingenuous about what they had heard that evening at The Tavern.

Despite this, the defendants have refused to withdraw their defamatory statements.

In a statement made to regarding the lawsuit, Merillat said:

“It’s unfortunate that my family and I have been subjected to this whole ordeal, and unfortunate that we have to go to these lengths for justice to be achieved. This event has unimaginably affected my family, my business, and gravely impacted my campaign for the Maryland House of Delegates.”

The lawsuit that Merillat has filed against the Evans’ includes one count of defamation, one count of false light, one count of intentional interference with economic relations, and one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Plaintiff is seeking $1,000,000 for compensatory and punitive damages. It also included a request for a temporary restraining order.

The Evans’ have sought to dismiss all charges in the complaint. 

According to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search, a pre-trial conference has been scheduled for late January 2023.

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  1. If this is a BS post about him being a racist, I’m glad he’ll hold them accountable. Far too many people hide behind the anonymity of the internet. Social media posts can have lasting positive and negative effects. Too many people have gotten away with posting “bunk” info.

  2. Of course Merrilat would say that the NAACP said that. It benefits his “case”. It’s in poor taste for the Baynet to even illude to that without actually reaching out to comment from Michael Kent himself. But that’s how things go around here. Its like one big small town. These people in Calvert have such an air of entitlement and superiority that one cannot publicly socially sanction them for poor behavior without the person in question threatening and wasting people’s time and money in court. People do not understand how the law works. What reason would these people have had to do anything but eat on that day then go get their baby off the bus if there hadn’t been an abhorrent, racist conversation going on!? This is how racism works. It’s a good thing that one suffers the consequences of his own actions while being racist in public. Do better Merrilat. It’s 2022. This was a CHOICE you made and now that it’s negatively affecting your life, as it should, you’re crying about it and using your privilege to weird your lawyer like a weapon. Shame on you.

    1. If this was the case, then why did they both admit that their claim was false. It’s one thing to accuse someone of a racist rant or racial comments in public as long as they can back up their claims with evidence. They said the place was busy, so other patrons would have “overheard” this conversation. Yet they cannot offer a single person to verify their claim, but Merrilat did have witnesses to verify this “racist conversation” never took place. The Evans admitted to that, yet refused to remove their posts simply because they want to smear him and hurt his campaign. So they should be punished for that, and hitting them in their wallet will force them to face the consequences of their actions.
      I am Hispanic, born and raised in the U.S., and face racism everywhere I go. And yes, I’ve sued someone for their racist comments and actions. It bankrupted him, he lost everything, his business, family, and home to pay me. I don’t tolerate racism, and I cannot tolerate people who use their race as a weapon to try and destroy someone’s reputation, family, and livelihood just because he’s white. I support the fight to stop racism, but I refuse to support people who use their skin color as an excuse for their hateful, and illegal actions. I’ve witnessed whole communities destroy each other by lying in order to make criminals into martyrs. It does nothing to help correct racial injustices, and hurts everyone who are fighting the injustices.
      The Evans are acting the same as white racists act, and are justifying their cause, not ours. How do we correct that, by seeing them held accountable for their actions. You cannot claim to be a victim when you are the one being dishonest.

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