The cost of restoring a physician's good name? A Florida jury concluded $10.1 million was about right, ordering that the St. Petersburg Times pay the sum to cardiologist Harold Kennedy in compensatory and punitive damages. Kennedy sued the newspaper for libel over three 2003 articles about the end of his run as chief of medicine at Bay Pines (Fla.) VA Medical Center.
Outliers: $10 million verdict
The reporter who wrote the offending stories was unable to take the stand; he died of a heart attack in 2006, the newspaper reported. And the court declined to admit the deceased newsman's notes as evidence supporting the newspaper's defense that the articles weren't libelous because they were true.
“We believe our reporting and editing of these stories met the highest journalistic and ethical standards,” Executive Editor and Vice President Neil Brown says in his paper's report about the verdict, which the publisher plans to appeal.
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