Court backs $3.5 million libel judgment against newspaper
A Pennsylvania newspaper has been ordered by a state court of appeals to pay $3.5 million, affirming a lower court’s decision in a libel dispute, The Associated Press reported.
State police and IRS agents raided Thomas A. Joseph’s home and business in 2001, and the story made news in the Wilkes-Barre’s The Citizens’ Voice. Joseph was never charged with anything and he claimed the news stories unfairly linked him to illegal activities, according to The AP.
Joseph sued The Voice, its former editor, its parent company and The Scranton Times LP for defamation. A judge ruled in Joseph’s favor in 2006, and The Voice appealed that ruling to the state Superior Court.
The Voice is “obviously very disappointed,” publisher Scott Lynett told the wire service. “Our attorneys are currently reviewing the opinion to decide on any appeal strategy,” he added.