Va. justices side with newspaper in libel case

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 10 at 6:35 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a judge's decision to throw out a libel verdict against a Norfolk newspaper.

The justices unanimously ruled Friday that The Virginian-Pilot did not libel Phillip Webb, an assistant principal at a local high school.

In 2009, the newspaper reported that Webb's son was not disciplined by the school system after the boy's arrest for assault. Webb said the story implied that his son received special treatment.

A jury awarded Webb $3 million in damages, but the trial judge ruled there was no evidence of defamation and entered a verdict for the newspaper.

The Supreme Court said the article did not suggest that Webb instigated any preferential treatment. The justices said the suit should have been dismissed before going to the jury.

Print
Email
|