Nick Sandmann’s big lawsuit against the Washington Post has been dismissed by a judge:
WLWT – A $250 million lawsuit — filed by the lawyers for the family of Nick Sandmann against The Washington Post — has been dismissed by a federal judge.
Judge William Bertelsman issued the ruling Friday.
Attorneys Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sandmann and his family. It was the first in a series of lawsuits filed against several media outlets.
The lawsuit claims that the Post “wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C.”
The lawsuit adds that the Post engaged in “a modern-day form of McCarthyism” and “ignored basic journalist standards.”
“They didn’t investigate it,” Wood said. “They got it wrong. They published the false narrative and did not publish the truth.”
An attorney for the paper, Kevin Baine, defended the reports in question and argued Sandmann’s claims don’t rise to the level of defamation.
Cinciannti.com tells us more about why it was dismissed:
Nick and his attorneys, Todd McMurtry and L. Lin Wood, alleged that the gist of The Washington Post’s first article conveyed that Nick had assaulted or physically intimidated Nathan Phillips, engaged in racist conduct, and engaged in taunts.
But, Bertelsman wrote, “this is not supported by the plain language in the article, which states none of these things.”
Bertelsman accepted Nick’s assertion that he was only standing motionless across from Phillips, without ill intent.
But the Eastern District of Kentucky judge ruled that Phillips, who told the media he felt threatened, had a First Amendment right to express his opinion.
“He concluded that he was being blocked and not allowed to retreat,” Bertelsman wrote. “He passed these conclusions on to The Post. They may have been erroneous, but, as discussed above, they are opinion protected by the First Amendment.”
Bertelsman also ruled it was irrelevant to the defamation case that “Sandmann was scorned on social media.”
Bertelsman wrote that Nick’s lawsuit employed “precisely the type of explanation or innuendo that cannot enlarge or add to the sense or affect of the words charged to be libelous.”
I don’t know if Linwood is going to appeal the ruling or if it’s even possible. My guess is that they will do so if they can.
In case you are wondering, Bertelsman is a Carter appointee.