Washington Post settles $250M suit with Covington teen Nick Sandmann
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Started by metmike - July 25, 2020, 1:53 a.m.


The Washington Post on Friday agreed to settle a monster $250 million lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann over its botched coverage of his 2019 encounter with a Native American elder.

Sandmann declared the victory in a tweet on his 18th birthday. It’s unclear how much the newspaper settled for.

“On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit,” he wrote.

“Thanks to @ToddMcMurtry & @LLinWood for their advocacy. Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me. I still have more to do,” he continued.

It’s the teen’s second win in a whopping $800 million defamation battle against a number of news outlets including the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Hill and NBC.

CNN agreed to settle with Sandmann in January this year as part of a separate $275 million claim.

Sandmann and a group of his Covington classmates were vilified on social media after they were filmed wearing “Make America Great Again” hats after an anti-abortion rally while being yelled at by demonstrators.

Enlarge Image
Nicholas Sandmann (left) and activist Nathan Phillips during the infamous encounter.Kaya Taitano via Storyful

Sandmann, then 16, was singled out after footage of his confrontation with Native American activist Nathan Phillips was picked up by CNN and other outlets who claimed the incident was racially motivated.

Footage released later showed it was the Covington students who were being harassed.

In a subsequent tweet Friday, Sandmann fired a warning shot at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“We have settled with WAPO and CNN. The fight isn’t over. 2 down. 6 to go. Don’t hold your breath @jack,” he wrote.

By metmike - July 25, 2020, 1:57 a.m.
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Previous posts here on this topic:

      Catholic Student Nick Sandmann Gets Settlement From CNN             

                            Started by metmike - Jan. 9, 2020, 7:19 p.m.            


                Judge Reopens Sandman V WAPO Law Suit                 

                Started by TimNew - Oct. 30, 


                Covington Catholic student sues NBC, MSNBC for $275 million            

                Started by metmike - May 3, 2019, 12:50 a.m.            https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/29171/

                Sandmann lawsuit            

            April 19, 1:43 p.m.            


                CNN hit with $275 million defamation suit by Kentucky student                       

                Started by metmike - March 13, 2019


                "For truth, for justice, for Nicholas!"            

                            18 responses |            

                Started by metmike - Feb. 21, 2019, 1:37 a.m.   


                Nick Sandmann's Lawyer Sends Letters For Potential Lawsuits            


                Started by metmike - Feb. 4, 2019, 10:50 p.m.            


                Nick Sandmann interview            

                            12 responses |                

                Started by metmike - Jan. 23, 2019, 7:50 p.m.            https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/22406/

                Sorry mojo            

                            34 responses |          

                Started by metmike - Jan. 21, 2019, 3:51 p.m.            


By TimNew - July 25, 2020, 7:07 a.m.
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I hope this serves as a wakeup call to journalists.  Integrity and honesty don't seem to count for much these days,  but their editorial pocket books certainly will.  Can't spread gossip without money.

Can you imagine the editorial boards asking the question..   "How much will this cost us in liability and how much will it increase our readership?"

By metmike - July 25, 2020, 10:42 p.m.
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We should celebrate of course, as these news organizations get held accountable for their unethical targeting of people/places they don't like but $250,000,000????

If the kid ended up being extremely successful in life and made 1 million/year, his cumulative, life long income would still not come close to the amount of the damages in the law suit.

By metmike - July 25, 2020, 10:46 p.m.
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A Quick Guide to Libel Law


What is Libel?

It’s the publication of false statements of fact that damage someone’s reputation. You’ll also see it referred to as defamation.

In the United States, each state has its own libel laws. However, the basics of libel law are the same in every state.

The Basics of Libel Law

  • An opinion is not libel. Libel refers to specific facts that can be proved untrue.
  • A true statement that damages someone’s reputation is not libel. (Although it might be invasion of privacy.)
  • Libel laws are meant to monetarily compensate people for damage to their reputations–not to punish people who make false statements.
  • It’s harder for a public figure to win a libel lawsuit than it is for a private person to win a libel lawsuit.

What makes someone a public figure?

Public figures can be public officials or any other person pervasively involved in public affairs, like

celebrities, business leaders, and politicians.

If you involve yourself in a public controversy, you may be considered a “limited purpose public figure” for that particular set of issues.

Why is it harder for a public figure to win a libel lawsuit than a private figure?

To win a libel lawsuit, a private person has to prove that the publisher of the false statements acted “negligently.” Negligence means that the publisher didn’t do his homework. Even if the publisher didn’t know that his facts were false when he published them, he can still be on the hook for libel if he should have known.

In contrast, to win their libel suit, a public figure has to prove that the publisher of the false statements acted with “actual malice.” Actual malice means that the publisher either knew that the statements were false, or acted with reckless disregard for whether they were true or false. This is a lot harder to prove than negligence.

Why the double standard?

The different standards exist because public figures are at the center of matters of public concern–matters that the press should report on as part of its “watchdog” role on the government. If journalists could be punished for every error published about a public figure, they might avoid reporting on controversial subjects that concern the public. The public would lose access to crucial information.

Also, public figures generally have greater access to the media in order to counter defamatory statements, and to a certain extent seek out public acclaim and assume the risks of fame.

By metmike - July 25, 2020, 10:54 p.m.
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What does a person have to prove to win a slander or libel claim?


The “public” plaintiff has additional hurdles to overcome to recover for libel or slander. An example of a public figure is a politician. Along with establishing all of the regular elements of the tort, a plaintiff who is a public figure must also show that the defendant knew the false statement was false, or at least acted with reckless disregard as to its truthfulness. Newspapers may escape liability for libel when they merely report false statements as long as the paper had no particular reason to doubt the statement at the time it was printed.

Finally, the plaintiff often has to prove economic harm in order to recover on a defamation suit. Therefore, the plaintiff may need to be able to demonstrate a loss of business as a result of the defamation in order to establish a right to the recovery of money. However, some types of statements are so damaging that the plaintiff does not have to prove any economic loss. These statements tend to be those that accuse the plaintiff of sexual impropriety or criminal conduct.

By metmike - July 25, 2020, 10:58 p.m.
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Is it Worth it?  Damages in Defamation Cases

The answer is, yes, it is worth it. When a true case of defamation exists, there are damages that are caused as a result. Those damages are compensable through a civil lawsuit, in California and beyond.

After a successful defamation case, a person may be entitled to damages in one of three categories:

  • General Damages: This includes loss of reputation, shame, hurt feelings, embarrassment, and more.
  • Special Damages: This includes damage to the plaintiff's property, occupation, trade, profession, or business relationships.
  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are extra damages designed to punish the party who acted with malice or ill intent. These are awarded in the discretion of the judge or jury and can be a major way to ensure you are never defamed like this again.

These financial awards can compensate you for the loss, anger, and frustration you have suffered as the result of a defamatory statement. It is worth it to sue, not only to recover financially now but to help ensure others do not defame you or your business in the future.

metmike: Nick Sandmann is evidence that its worth it. No doubt that the settlement was a tiny fraction of 250 millin.

By TimNew - July 26, 2020, 6:35 a.m.
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We don't know the amount of the settlements,  but they are generally well below the original figure   Large amounts are necessary here because a "slap on the wrist" would accomplish nothing. 

By metmike - July 26, 2020, 12:31 p.m.
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 " Large amounts are necessary here because a "slap on the wrist" would accomplish nothing. "

This is interesting Tim...........because suits like this are CIVIL suits, not criminal.

Civil suits focus  on proving evidence of damages to the victim.

They have to prove that the offender displayed malice or was negligent but the amount of damages awarded are not based on the amount of negligence/malice, instead , the amount of harm it caused the victim.

A criminal suit is one that seeks to punish the offendor with a penalty that fits the crime. This suit and all others are NOT criminal suits.

In reality, the damages to Sandmann don't seem like they could even be 1 million....I'm sure you'll tell us why they are but I have a problem with unjustified, stratospheric numbers which don't line up with the authentic legal definition of the objective of a civil lawsuit.

One could say the first 1 million is justified and the other 249 million is political and/or tactical  bs. 


"Public Communications Law Lecture 4 Slide 1 Slander and Libel• Under the common law, there was a major distinction: – Slander was oral defamation. • Damages were not presumed unless it fell into a slander per se category. – Libel was written or communicated to a large audience. • Damages were presumed and usually larger than in slander actions • Under the common law, libel could be criminal or civil. – Today, however, it is only a civil issue. – A criminal libel statute today would have to be couched in terms of a “fighting words” or “incitement” crime and would probably be unconstitutional in any case"