Jury verdicts

Texas Supreme Court: Corporations may suffer reputational damage

Cindy Gierhart | Libel | News | May 12, 2014
May 12, 2014

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that corporations – and not just individuals – may recover for reputational damage in defamation lawsuits.

Typically, defendants have to prove specific financial damage resulting from the defamatory statements, unless the type of defamation is considered “defamation per se,” in which case damages are presumed. One category of statements that are often considered defamatory per se are statements attacking a person’s job-related abilities or professional stature.

In Waste Management of Texas, Inc. v. Texas Disposal Systems Landfill, Inc., two companies competed for waste-disposal and landfill contracts with city governments. One company allegedly distributed an anonymous communication claiming the other company engaged in environmentally harmful behavior.

New Hampshire Supreme Court reverses blogger's felony conviction for recording phone conversations

Cindy Gierhart | Privacy | News | February 12, 2014
February 12, 2014

The New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned a felony wiretapping conviction Tuesday of a blogger who recorded phone conversations with a law enforcement official and two school officials.

The blogger, Adam Mueller, operates the website CopBlock.org, which says it aims to hold police accountable.

A New Hampshire statute makes it a felony for anyone to “willfully intercept” a communication without the consent of all parties to the communication. At trial, the jury was instructed to find Mueller guilty if he “purposefully” intercepted the communications.

Minn. TV station liable for $1 million in defamation suit

Chris Healy | Libel | Feature | November 8, 2011
November 8, 2011

In what may be the largest defamation verdict in Minnesota history, a jury found that a Minneapolis TV news station acted with "constitutional malice" and awarded a naturopathic healer $1 million.

The jury found that the ABC news affiliate, KSTP, acted with reckless disregard for the truth when it ran a report more than two years ago about healer Susan Anderson and advice she allegedly gave her client, Cheryl Blaha.

Judge upholds jury verdict against truthful blogger

Nicole Lozare | Libel | Feature | September 2, 2011
September 2, 2011

A Minneapolis blogger will continue his fight to overturn a jury's verdict that he should pay $60,000 to a former university employee whom he wrote about scathingly --- but truthfully --- in a blog post that led to the employee's termination the next day.

Truthful statement can't give rise to tort claims, SPJ argues

Kristen Rasmussen | Libel | Feature | March 28, 2011
March 28, 2011

A blogger’s request to overturn a jury verdict ordering him to pay $60,000 in damages for truthful comments that got an ex-community leader fired has attracted media support. The Minnesota Pro Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists has filed a brief arguing that the judgment should not stand.

St. Petersburg Times hit with $10.1 million verdict.

Libel | Quicklink | August 31, 2009
August 31, 2009

A jury returned a $10.1 million libel decision against the St. Petersburg Times last week in a case brought by the former chief of medicine at a V.A. hospital.

The doctor claimed that a series of articles contained a number of factual inaccuracies, but the newspaper said he had not proven that the stories were false and stood by its reporting.