Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blogger Must Pay $60K for Telling the Truth

Journalists can now be sued for the consequences of truthful reporting.

A Minnesota jury decided a blogger must pay $60,000 in damages to a former University of Minnesota employee who was fired after the blogger's posts exposed the former employee's alleged involvement in a mortgage fraud.

The Star Tribune reports the blogger owes the former employee $35,000 in lost wages and $25,000 in emotional distress. The former employee — who was hired by the university to study mortgage foreclosures — sued the blogger after he accused the man of being involved in a "high-profile fraudulent mortgage."

When the man sued — not for libel, apparently because the blogger had documentation for the accusation — the judge threw out many of his complaints, but ruled he could sue the blogger for "tortious interference" with the man's employment for creating, as the former employee's lawyer described it, a "defamation zone" for commenters to call for the man's firing.

Unbelievable.

In other news, Richard Nixon sues Woodward and Bernstein for forcing him to resign.

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