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NY Times

Rolling Stone Magazine and Its Reporter Ordered to Pay Millions in Defamation Case

Nov 8, 2016  •  Post A Comment

“A federal jury on Monday ordered Rolling Stone and one of its writers to pay $3 million in damages to a University of Virginia administrator over a discredited article two years ago about a supposed gang rape at the university,” The New York Times reports. “The jury in Charlottesville, Va., had already decided on Friday, after a two-week trial, that Rolling Stone; Wenner Media, its parent company; and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the article, were all liable for defamation in a case that centered on faulty reporting and a failure to apply basic fail-safes in editing.”

The jury determined that Erdely was liable for $2 million of the total, with Rolling Stone and Wenner Media responsible for $1 million. The administrator, Nicole P. Eramo, had been seeking $7.5 million in damages.

“The jury found that assertions made in the story, as well as public statements made after publication by Ms. Erdely and Rolling Stone, were made with ‘actual malice,’ the legal standard for libel against public figures,” The Times reports. “To meet that standard, a publisher must be found to have known that the information it published was false, or to have had reckless disregard for the truth.”

Rolling Stone has not announced whether it will appeal the verdict.

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