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Defamation

NEWS
July 2, 1997 | By Larry King, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Philadelphia judge has overturned a $10.25 million jury award to a former Hill School teacher who said he was defamed by rumors of sexual misconduct while working at the prestigious private school in Pottstown. In 1995, a Common Pleas Court jury awarded the damages to Wendell K. Chestnut, saying he had been harmed by remarks made by a former Hill School headmaster. It was the second-largest defamation award in Pennsylvania history. Judge G. Craig Lord, who presided over the trial, strongly disagreed with the jury's findings in a 45-page opinion filed Monday.
NEWS
July 1, 2003 | By Jacqueline Soteropoulos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Melanie Hopkins, the fiancee and longtime aide of the late City Councilman W. Thacher Longstreth, announced yesterday that she planned to file numerous lawsuits, alleging she was defamed. Hopkins said that she would sue "those who have defamed me for their own ends" earlier this year during Longstreth's final weeks of deteriorating health, when a bitter court battle pitted Hopkins against his children. Her attorney, B. Adam Sagan of Trevose, declined to say precisely whom Hopkins planned to sue but indicated that the lawsuits would include Philadelphia reporters, news media outlets, and possibly Longstreth's children.
NEWS
March 16, 2005 | By Tirdad Derakhshani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Former California congressman Gary Condit has settled an $11 million defamation lawsuit he filed against Dominick Dunne for comments the writer and Vanity Fair correspondent made about Condit's alleged role in the '01 disappearance of intern Chandra Levy, whose body was found in a park in Washington in May 2002. According to the Sacramento Bee, Dunne, who must pay an undisclosed sum and issue an apology, said in a statement that he did "not say or intend to imply that Mr. Condit was complicit in her disappearance, and to the extent my comments may have been misinterpreted, I apologize for them.
NEWS
March 22, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
State Attorney General Kathleen Kane has hired one of the most feared litigators in the region, Richard A. Sprague, to represent her in possible defamation suits arising from accounts of her decision to end an undercover investigation that taped at least five Philadelphia Democrats accepting cash or gifts. Sprague said he would launch an investigation into the conduct of the prosecutors who ran that sting operation, which began in 2010 before Kane took office. She has said the case was mismanaged, possibly tainted by racial profiling, and far too weak for any prosecutions.
NEWS
January 15, 2013 | By John P. Martin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A former Catholic chaplain at Graterford State Prison says state officials defamed him, wrongfully fired him and tried to block his unemployment benefits after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia suspended him in 2011 amid a review of past misconduct by priests. The Rev. Robert Povish, 47, of Boyertown, was ultimately removed last year from active ministry by Archbishop Charles Chaput for what the prelate called violations of "boundary issues" with children. But in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court, Povish accuses prison officials of ignoring his spotless record there over a decade and savaging his reputation by portraying him as a child-sex abuser, something he says he is not. "To this day, Reverend Povish has never been accused of sexual misconduct.
SPORTS
April 14, 2006 | Daily News Wire Services
Lance Armstrong's defamation trial ended yesterday after charges were withdrawn by Italian cyclist Filippo Simeoni. Armstrong also withdrew his defamation action against Simeoni, the lawyer for the Tour de France great said. Neither cyclist was at the court in Latina, near Rome. "The case is over after both actions have been withdrawn," lawyer Enrico Nan said. Simeoni brought defamation charges against Armstrong following an April 2003 report in the French newspaper Le Monde.
NEWS
March 20, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Jason Laughlin, and Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writers
A former FBI director and Pennsylvania State University used then-president Graham B. Spanier as the scapegoat when the school needed someone to take the fall for Jerry Sandusky's years of child molestation, Spanier contends in a suit filed Wednesday. Spanier's complaint alleged that Louis Freeh defamed him in a 2012 report that asserted that he ignored information that Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, sexually abused children, in some cases on school grounds. Spanier was "never aware of any child abuse accusations," the long-awaited suit, filed in Centre County, states, adding that he hardly knew Sandusky.
NEWS
September 7, 1988 | By Marc Kaufman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Newspapers nationwide shut down their presses yesterday in a one-day strike against legislation that Indian journalists say would make defamation laws so strong that much political reporting - and virtually all investigative reporting - would become impossible. "This defamation bill is nothing but censorship in disguise," said Hiranmay Karlekar, senior editor of the Indian Express newspaper and spokesman for the Coordination Committee of the National Press. "The government set out to browbeat a vibrantly free press," he said yesterday, "and we will not allow it. " Among the most objectionable provisions of the bill, journalists say, are those that would make it a crime, punishable by up to two years in prison, to publish "scurrilous" allegations of criminal wrongdoing by public officials; that would put the burden of proof in defamation cases entirely on the press, and that would forbid reporting on meetings from which reporters have been officially barred.
NEWS
May 1, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A defamation lawsuit by union leader John J. Dougherty against The Inquirer's editorial page staff and a former columnist has been dismissed by a Philadelphia judge. In a ruling Monday, Common Pleas Court Judge Lisa M. Rau wrote that the 2008 editorials and an opinion column by Monica Yant Kinney questioning Dougherty's suitability as a Democratic candidate for the state Senate were not defamatory. "Public comment and debate during an election is at the heart of our electoral system; without it, democracy cannot survive," Rau wrote.
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