Newspaper settles suit by prosecutor accused of hiding evidence
PENNSYLVANIA–The New York Times has reached a settlement with a former Philadelphia prosecutor who sued the newspaper for libel.
Barbara Christie, who is now an attorney with the legal office of the Pennsylvania State Police, sought $2.1 million from the Times based on her claim that she was defamed by an article that ran in the July 16, 1995, edition of The New York Times Magazine. The judge dismissed the claim based upon the agreement to settle.
Times spokeswoman Heidi Pokorny said that the settlement had not yet been finalized or officially announced. However, she told the National Law Journal that the newspaper has “never settled a libel case for money.”
The article, written by reporter Tina Rosenberg, profiled Christie’s former employer, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham. In the article, Rosenberg said that Christie “frequently had her convictions reversed by higher courts for hiding evidence that indicated a defendant’s innocence and for knocking blacks off juries.” The article also said that Abraham demoted Christie after she became “a magnet for criticism.”
In her suit filed in federal District Court in Philadelphia, Christie alleged that Rosenberg’s article was “no more than a gratuitous slap at a dedicated career prosecutor who has vigorously sought to carry out her duties.” (Christie v. New York Times Co.; Media Attorney: George Freeman, New York City)