In reviewing the case, the North Carolina Supreme Court found that the reporter had omitted important information and mispresented quotes from sources. This, along with other evidence, led the court to conclude that article's false statements had not resulted from "mere negligence" but from a "purposeful avoidance of the truth."
In his 48-page opinion, District Judge C.J. Williams ruled that none of the 11 allegedly defamatory statements were grounds for defamation. Some, such as Lizza’s claims that Nunes and his family were keeping a “secret,” Williams dismissed because they were too ambiguous to be actionable.
Though Daniels claimed that Trump’s use of the term “con job” implied that she had committed criminal fraud, the appeals court reasoned that this was only one of a number of possible ways to read the President's tweet. Ultimately, the appeals court ruled the tweet an opinion and, thus, not actionable.
The Washington Post announced on July 24th that it had reached a settlement with the parents of a Kentucky teenager who sued the newspaper last year over its depiction of an encounter between their son and a Native American activist. A spokesperson for The Post did not disclose the terms of the agreement.
A prominent Christian university based in Virginia is suing The New York Times and one of its reporters for an article about the university president’s decision to reopen the college during the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ben Garrison, a cartoonist known for lionizing President Donald Trump in his drawings, is suing the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for defamation after the organization called one of his cartoons anti-Semitic.
Public officials using libel suits as a weapon against the press is nothing new. In the time of Times v. Sullivan, southern officials had brought nearly $300 million in libel actions against the press. For reference, Nunes alone has brought just over $900 million in defamation claims in a twelve-month period.
"[T]he Court has significant concerns about forum shopping," U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Judge Robert E. Paynes wrote. "As the Court has explained to Plaintiff's counsel on numerous occasions, the Court cannot stand as a willing repository for cases which have no real nexus to this district.”