Palin’s lawsuit against The New York Times rejected 1:19
(WABNEWS Business) — The New York Times prevailed in defending itself in a defamation lawsuit filed against it by Sarah Palin, after jurors will determine that she did not prove her case.
The nine jurors, deliberating since Friday afternoon, declared that The New York Times is not liable in Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the newspaper.RELATED
Unbeknownst to them, during the deliberations, Rakoff determined that Palin’s attorneys failed to prove a key element of their case, so he would overturn the jury’s verdict if it had found in Palin’s favor.
“The law here sets a very high standard (for actual malice),” Rakoff said Monday. “The court finds that that standard has not been met.”
Palin and her attorneys have previously indicated they would consider an appeal if a jury trial did not go their way.
The newspaper’s lawyers celebrated Monday, embracing each other in court after Rakoff made his decision.
“The New York Times welcomes today’s decision,” a spokesman said Monday. “It’s a reaffirmation of a fundamental principle of American law: Public figures should not be allowed to use defamation lawsuits to punish or intimidate news organizations that make, quickly acknowledge and correct unintentional errors.”
Palin sued The New York Times and its former editorial page editor James Bennett in 2017 after they published an editorial that wrongly linked a map Palin’s political action committee had published to a 2011 shooting that killed six people and injured former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
The editorial in question was published on the day of the shooting at a baseball practice that injured Congressman Steve Scalise. It was meant to address heated political rhetoric before the shooting, but in pointing it out, the Times erroneously said there was a “clear” link between a map that had crosshairs over congressional districts, including Giffords’s, and the shooting that he hurt her. Bennett testified that he added language that there was a clear link and that once he realized the error he worked to issue a correction quickly.
Palin testified that she was “mortified” that the newspaper falsely accused her of abetting the murder of those six people, which included a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, six years after that deadly shooting.
Bennett testified that he was surprised some people interpreted the editorial as saying that the man who shot Giffords and others was egged on by Palin, testifying that “that’s not the message we intended to send.”