Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Justice Thomas Wins Libel Suit

Robert Thomas, Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, may own a newspaper.

Or a chain of newspapers.

Or, maybe, the chain of newspapers that owns McHenry County's Northwest Herald has really good insurance.

McHenry County Blog has just been told by two reliable sources that the jury has given Thomas pretty much what he asked for.

$7 million in total.

$5 of the $7 million was for damages to reputation.

Thomas had sued for libel and under false light statutes claiming that Kane County Chronicle columnist Bill Page had falsely claimed he had worked a deal to lessen the penalty against Kane County State’s Attorney Meg Gorecki in return for political support for a judicial candidate.

Thomas won both the libel and false light counts.

And the jury ruled that the columns were published with actual malice.

The Northwest Herald is the most important of Shaw’s newspapers it has almost 39,000 circulation. The Kane County Chronicle has about 14,000 circulation.

Published first, of course, on McHenry County Blog.

4 comments:

Bill Baar 5:30 PM  

bloggers next?

Pat Hickey 8:17 AM  

Bloggers who Libel - sure; why not?

There is a website in my neighborhood that might have cracked the ice with malice.
The owner had better hope that Joe Power has not been reached out to for sage advice and counsel.

Several people who have been targeted on this blog are looking into a remedy similar to Justice Thomas. Stay tuned.

It appears that the news papers tagged yesterday never gave themselves a reality check either.

Bill Baar 8:54 AM  

Drudge is linking the Sun Times story this AM on the case.

Pat Hickey 9:03 AM  

Mr. Rozek neatly packages the problem - The Sun Time sstill has good writers:

'Page’s columns contended that Thomas, after originally backing a harsher penalty for Gorecki, ultimately agreed to the four-month suspension because he hoped Gorecki’s supporters would then back a candidate he favored for a Kane County judgeship.


» Click to enlarge image

Former Kane County Chronicle columnist Bill Page (left) and Justice Bob Thomas.
(Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)
Thomas’ attorney, Joe Power, argued the allegations demeaned Thomas’ integrity and placed his career — and future earnings — at risk. Thomas asked the jury to award him between $8.5 million and $16 million for the emotional damage and loss of reputation. '

That's the nutshell. Good for Justice Bob Thomas! Opinion turns to libel when malice gets your words by the throat.

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