Update: appeals court tosses $18M Gannett verdict

Following urgings by prominent attorney and frequent Overlawyered mentionee Willie Gary, a jury in Pensacola, Fla. had awarded the sum to a road builder who said he was defamed by an investigative-journalism piece in the newspaper chain’s Pensacola News-Journal (Mar. 30-31, 2001; Dec. 23, 2003; Jan. 7, 2004). The Florida appeals court “ruled that Joe Anderson’s case should have been dismissed because he mischaracterized his lawsuit as a ‘false-light claim’ to get around a two-year statute of limitations that applies in libel cases. The court said that since its decision was based on the statute-of-limitations issue, it did not rule on several other arguments for reversal raised by the newspaper.” (Ginny Graybiel, “News Journal suit reversed”, Oct. 21).

One Comment