‘Justice requires that discovery be had regarding these statements and their context…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A federal judge in Kentucky reopened Covington Catholic high schooler Nick Sandmann’s case against the Washington Post.
The new ruling by District Judge William O. Bertelsman overturns a July ruling — made by the same judge — that dismissed Sandmann’s $250 million defamation lawsuit against the publication for negligently covering Sandmann’s interaction with a Native American protester, Nathan Phillips.
The Post falsely characterized Sandmann’s actions as racist and offensive, Sandmann’s lawyers have argued.
At first, Bertelsman disagreed, arguing such claims were “not supported by the plain language in the article, which states none of these things.”
But now Bertelsman is allowing Sandmann’s legal team to obtain documents from the Post to support its case against the publication.
NEWSFLASH: Federal Judge William O. Bertelsman partially reversed his ruling to dismiss #nicksandmann‘s claims against the @washingtonpost. Nick’s case may now proceed into discovery. The ruling bodes will for the NBC and CNN cases, as well. @LLinWood pic.twitter.com/4MoJdSreXa
— Todd V. McMurtry (@ToddMcMurtry) October 28, 2019
Bertelsman is now allowing Sandmann’s legal team to seek discover from the Post on three of 33 alleged libelous statements in the Post’s initial report of Sandmann’s interaction with Phillips.
“The Court has given this matter careful review and concludes that ‘justice requires’ that discovery be had regarding these statements and their context. The Court will then consider them anew on summary judgment,” Bertelsman said in his order, according to the New York Post.
Sandmann’s attorney, Todd McMurtry, said the ruling is a “huge victory” that “bodes well” for Sandmann’s other lawsuits against NBC and CNN, too.