In the Indiana Commercial Court a jury had awarded a doctor $4.75m following her claims that she was wrongly accused of having alcohol on her breath while on duty. Dr Rebecca Denman was awarded the sum following a defamation lawsuit against St. Vincent Carmel Hospital and St. Vincent Carmel Medical Group Inc. The Indiana Business Journal reports as does the Indiana Lawyer.

The New York Times reports that CNN has settled the defamation lawsuit with a teenager from Kentucky. Nick Sandmann sued the network for defamation following its coverage of his encounter with a Native American at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Sandmann alleged that the coverage asserted that he was “the face of an unruly mob” facing American Indian activist Nathan Phillips.  There were reports in The Wrap and the New York Post.

Another order has been made against the defendant in the Sandy Hook shootings defamation case. The case came following comments made by US radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones claiming that the attack was a “fake” and “a giant hoax”. Following Jones’ failure to comply with a Court order to produce evidence and witnesses in October he was ordered to pay a total of $100,000 in legal fees and court costs. The BBC has coverage as does ABC Action News. The trial has not yet taken place.

Ohio doctor, Dr William Husel, has bought a defamation case against his former employer, Mount Carmel Health System and Trinity Health Corp. The lawsuit follows the doctor being accused of ordering the drug overdoses of over 25 hospital patients whereas he alleges that he did not deviate from the hospital policy on end-of-life care. US News reports.

Justice Doris Ling-Cohan of the New York State Supreme Court found that U.S. President Donald Trump failed to establish that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear defamation claims against him in the case of Jean Carroll. Carroll is accusing Mr Trump of defamation in his denials that he raped the Elle magazine advice columnist in a Manhattan department store. Reuters reports. 

This month in the Courts

  • Anderson v WBNS-TV Inc, a slip opinion of findings the Ohio Court Appeals finding that the Court of appeals applied the wrong standard in whether the fault of element of the claimants defamation claim had been met. The Court of Appeals judgment was vacated and the cause was remanded.
  • In Re:Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Curcuit, a hearing in the case that alleges that Viacom and Google unlawfully used cookies to track children’s web browsing and video-watching habits on Viacom websites. The plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of the case however the findings under the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, California Invasion of Privacy Act and California Invasion of Privacy Act we not in the plaintiffs’ favour and the dismissal was affirmed.  

This Round up was complied by Suneet Sharma a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media, information and privacy law.