The complaint identifies Pivar as "an industrialist, inventor, and scientist," the founder and chairman of the board of Chem-tainer Industries, and co-founder (with Andy Warhol) and original funder of the New York Academy of Art, "a classical graduate school for painting and sculpture, whose current patron is H.R.H. Charles, Prince of Wales." It claims that Pivar regularly discussed his book with Stephen Jay Gould, who "was working on a refutation of the fundamentalist Darwinian theory of evolution."
The complaint claims that Myers' remarks led to Neil de Grasse Tyson withdrawing a review of the book and causing "considerable mental and emotional distress," tortious interference with the plaintiff's business relationships as a "scientist and scientific editor," and "loss of book sales and diminished returns on ten years of funded scientific research in special damages" exceeding $5 million.
The three claims of the complaint are, first, for declaratory relief in removing defamatory statements from the web and an injunction to prevent further such statements; second, for $5 million in special damages from the "tortious interference with business relations"; and third, for $10 million in damages for defamation, emotional distress, and loss of reputation.
Seed Media Group may be able to have itself dismissed as a defendant on the libel claim via the safe harbor on online publication of defamatory statements by a user of a site, which has been successfully used as a defense by America Online (in Zeran v. AOL and Blumenthal v. Drudge and AOL) and ElectriCiti (in Aquino v. ElectriCiti).
I suspect that Pivar will have a difficult time proving the claimed damages, as well as overcoming the truth defense to a defamation claim, but I'm curious to see if any lawyers (Timothy Sandefur?) have an opinion. The complaint looks a little odd and sloppy to me--it initially refers to "tortuous" interference rather than "tortious," includes the odd paragraph about the Art Academy, and generally doesn't appear to me to be a well-crafted case--but I am not a lawyer.
The text of the complaint may be found here (PDF).
P.Z. Myers' reviews of Pivar's book may be found here and here.
Another review of Pivar's book, authored by his friend Richard Gordon, may be found here.
Pivar's claim that Stephen Jay Gould would not have signed the NCSE's "Project Steve" statement is discussed at CSI's website.
Christopher Mims has commented on the lawsuit at Scientific American's blog, and Brandon Keim at Wired Science has a good summary of the dispute.
UPDATE: I've just read through both of P.Z. Myers' blog post reviews again, and I note that the alleged defamatory reference, "a classic crackpot," appears in neither of them. In the earlier post, Myers says of Pivar's book: "It seems no expense was spared getting it published, which is in contrast to the content, and is unusual for such flagrant crackpottery." The later post does not contain the word "crackpot." The post that Pivar is complaining about is another Myers post, titled "Pseudoscience by press release", where Pivar himself commented several times, including to write, "I will ignore your insulting and intemperate language and concentrate on the substantive issues." Apparently he changed his mind on that point.
UPDATE (August 21, 2007): Blake Stacey has put together a nice chronological summary of who said what when, along with links to commentators. He points out that the "review" by Neil de Grasse Tyson which was on Pivar's website was a quote created by taking one piece out of context and fabricating another--it's no wonder that Tyson asked for Pivar to remove it.
Andrea Bottaro summarizes the case with links to more sources about Pivar's Stephen J. Gould claims at The Panda's Thumb, and Timothy Sandefur weighs in with an evaluation of the legal issues at Positive Liberty, where he calls Pivar's suit a case of "abus[ing] the legal process to try to intimidate and bully people for no good reason" and concludes that "Myers unquestionably has the right to call Pivar a crackpot, and we have the right to consider this lawsuit as proof of the fact."
UPDATE (August 22, 2007): Ed Darrell at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub has a nice article about how we determine what a "crackpot" is. Pivar seems to fit quite well.
A commenter at Pharyngula has observed that Pivar's attorney was just admitted to the New York Bar in 2005 and went to law school in the UK.
UPDATE (August 24, 2007): Retired UCSD law professor Peter Irons (well versed in the law as it pertains to intelligent design) has written an excellent letter to Stuart Pivar which strongly recommends that Pivar withdraw his suit rather than quickly lose and become subject to monetary sanctions. Irons also says that he knew Gould from the 1950s until his death, and was his neighbor for many years, and that if Gould were alive today he'd probably have a viable defamation action against Pivar.
UPDATE (August 29, 2007): Pivar has withdrawn his libel suit (see Dispatches from the Culture Wars and Pharyngula). But now his attorney, Michael Little, thinks he has a case against Peter Irons! Kudos to Pivar for doing the right thing.
UPDATE (September 5, 2007): More entertainment regarding Michael Little may be found at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.