From Fox19 in Cincinnati: CNN settles lawsuit with Nick Sandmann



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46 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    If you want to see where we discussed the events as they happened, we discussed them here.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    96 percent of cases end in settlement. This does not necessarily mean fault. It can be a simple cost of benefit analysis and often is. I.e. Suppose I tell my client “I don’t think you are liable but it will cost me 150K to prove that but I can get the case dismissed for 35K-50K in settlement.” Many people choose to settle especially insurance companies.* But no one pays attention to this and people will see this as vindication for kid.

    *I wonder if CNN does have insurance for libel/defamation cases.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      But no one pays attention to this and people will see this as vindication for kid.

      Does CNN know that no one pays attention to this and that folks will see this as vindication for the kid?

      If they do, how much would that knowledge *NOT* getting out be worth to them?

      And then, I guess, they settled for less than that number.Report

  3. Avatar InMD says:

    Hard to feel bad for CNN here. They didn’t actually do their work and got burned. Frankly I wish more media outlets suffered consequences for bad journalism of any variety.Report

  4. Avatar greginak says:

    I heartily predict people cheering this settlement will not be as enthusiastic when it is applied on at least some other people. I dont’ know whether the settlement is wrong or right, but is ain’t gonna go down smooth in other cases.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

      We already got a preview of this sort of thing earlier with the Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

        I assume Alex Jones must be sweating. Well sweating and swearing even more then usual if that is possible. I wonder what the Comet Pizza people are doing now. Does Greta Thunberg need some Euros. How much is it worth to be called a traitor on network tv by a fox news host or rush.

        If i had a serious prediction i would say there will very few actual lawsuits re: this kind of thing. But every time questions are raised about it as compared to some other news incident the response will fall most on partisan lines. Very much the people cheering for the sandman wont’ be cheering if it was rush or fox or maybe even jones.

        Should i just assume we all agree jones should be sued until he broke twice over?Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

          I was thinking more about the estate of “Dr. Tiller The Baby Killer”.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Yeah. Shirley Sherrod and almost everyone james okeefe has filmed. Though he did lose one case i believe, i’m not sure what grounds that was on. What about all the networks that broadcast his sleaze. They amplified it and played it endlessly.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to greginak says:

          Pretty simple distinction dude- they reported false facts (not the same as spurious opinions) to the public and caused reputational damage. It’s text book libel. No threat to NYT v. Sullivan.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

            Well, “Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” seems like an entirely debatable opinion.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              The fact at issue was the portrayal of Sandmann as part of a vicious mob that assaulted and racially taunted the Native American activist and Black Israelites.

              I concede that whether his face is punchable is a matter of opinion, but tweets like that do go a pretty long way towards supporting reputational damage.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to InMD says:

                So alex jones should be paying millions and So should those who aired okeefe vids and okeefe himself. There was outright lying and reporting of false facts.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to greginak says:

                Acorn did sue O’Keefe but IIRC ultimately didn’t really pursue the complaint zealously. Not sure why that was but that’s on them.

                I don’t know enough about Alex Jones to comment on him.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to InMD says:

                Jones spent years claiming the sandy hook school shooting was a hoax. People harassed the parents of the murdered children claiming they were lying and scamming. Jones pushed all that. Viscerally i want jones to fry and i dont’ know the specific legal issues. But if sandman got money for his deal, then jomes should be paying every dollar he has ever or will ever earn.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to greginak says:

                I mean, if there’s a bona fide legal theory there I don’t care if someone pursues it. Again, I don’t know enough about him, but if he’s just saying the event didn’t happen that wouldn’t rise to libel. The statement has to be about the plaintiff (and maybe he has made false statements about them, I admit to total ignorance).Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to InMD says:

                Do we know that CNN had the full video when they initially issued their “report”?

                You are applying wildly different standards here dude while pretending that you’re doing the exact opposite.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Kazzy says:

                No I’m not, I’m just telling you the Sandmann claim was/is a pretty normal libel suit. But the thing about those is you actually have to go sue to recover.

                I don’t know anything about Alex Jones other than what greg said on this thread (which I’m sure is accurate, being serious no sarcasm intended) but I’m not drawing any conclusions about him or the merits of any libel cases against him.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to InMD says:

                He has gone up to the batshit lunacy of accusing some of the parents of being crisis actors. Those are people paid by the gov to pretend they are victims of tragedies or disasters to perpetuate a hoax such as a massacre of school children. As one does.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to greginak says:

                But Greginak you gotta understand, Jones is owning the libs and antifa and that is really what matters now in the land. He is owning the libs and Trumpite-lites of the Quillette Brigade love that so.

                More seriously, he is being uncooperative. I saw he was just sanctioned 100,000 for not compling with discovery.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                I heard about the fine. Amazing. Clients get the lawyers they deserve. Lawyers who take on raving scumbags get the ulcers they earn.*

                * This mostly applies in richpeople/ celebrity civil law.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

        “We already got a preview of this sort of thing earlier with the Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit.”

        I think our discussion of that happened in this post.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Ah, yes. So many memories.

          Once upon a time, I remember getting into arguments about “Loser Pays” and how we should use that more often than we do. The counter-arguments usually took the form “not every case is a slam dunk, normal people should have access to the justice system without having to worry about not only losing but also paying for IBM’s lawyers” or something like that.

          Have we recently moved to a system that uses “Loser Pays” more often?

          Or is this case so egregious that it’s one of the minuscule “Loser Pays” outcomes in its own right?Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

            Courts can award attorneys’ fees, and some jurisdictions have statutes awarding damages to defendants in certain egregious situations where lawfare is used to bully or censor people (anti-SLAPP laws for example).

            I think these are more situations where planet intersectionality has been caught making false assertions of fact about individuals and then kicked in the backside by the unfortunate existence of verifiable reality.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Nick has released a statement:


  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    A theory about the settlement:


  7. Avatar CJColucci says:

    The cost to CNN of defending this lawsuit, even successfully, would have been in the low seven figures. Unless and until we get useful information about how much CNN paid, all the theorizing about what the settlement “means” is just spitballing. Not that that will stop anybody.Report

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