Cleveland Family Lawyer   |   Divorce   |   Custody Support   |   Estate Planning   |   Wills   |   Trusts   |   Probate   |   Premier Legal Services

Be Careful Who You Call A Bully

October 4, 2011

Ask your average high school student if he or she has ever encountered a bully and it seems likely that the answer is yes.  It seems that few pass through these years of primary education without having at least one bully push them from their path.  The emergence of litigation brought by the victims of bullying against the schools in which the bullying occurs illustrates a growing belief that the school is at least partly at fault for not protecting its students better.

It clearly is rational to want to protect those who are pushed around.  But a new lawsuit begs the other question.  Are accused bullies found guilty too quickly in the court of public opinion?

A recent verdict out of Virginia highlights this issue.  In Norfolk, Virginia, a jury has returned a $5 million verdict against the Virginia-Pilot newspaper for writing allegedly false accusations regarding a former high school student.  The newspaper accused this student of bullying a classmate.  It based these statements, in part, on the fact that this student had been convicted of misdemeanor assault and trespassing against the father of the child who was allegedly bullied.  Despite this potential link, the court found that the newspaper had reported false statements and, thus, was liable to the former student for damages to his reputation.

Whether $5 million is a realistic number, however, is an entirely different story.  As this legal battle continues, the former student’s payday, if any, probably won’t come for many months, if not years.  Attorneys for the newspaper are appealing the verdict, asking that it be set aside because it is contrary to law.  Whether the verdict is set aside entirely or reduced to a smaller amount is an unknown that most definitely troubles all parties to this lawsuit.

The ongoing battle over what amount is reasonable will, if nothing else, add pressure to both sides to settle on an agreed-upon final amount.  Settling now would reduce a lengthy appeals process.  It would also eliminate the uncertainties of what could happen to the verdict while up on appeal.  It wouldn’t be the first time that a large verdict handed down in a trial court became much smaller or even disappeared entirely under the gavel of the appellate court.

Despite the uncertainties of what will happen to this large verdict, this lawsuit still provides a couple teaching points.  First, we are left with the lingering knowledge that not all alleged bullies are in fact bullies.  Second, we are reminded of the importance to always remain cautious before letting accusations fly from our lips.

From Jury returns $5M libel award against Norfolk paper, acj.com (Atlanta Business News) (February 11, 2011)

Name
Phone
Email
Comments/Questions
The Cleveland Accident Injury Lawyer on BlogSpot Twitter Facebook LinkedIn
June 23, 2017
If your child has been seriously injured or killed as a result of another person's negligent conduct, then you may want to consider your legal remedies to hold the wrongdoer accountable. A Beachwood Ohio wrongful death attorney can help.
June 23, 2017
If the negligence of a children welfares agency or a mandatory reporter of abuse has caused serious injury or death to your minor child, you may be able to pursue legal remedies. Discuss how to proceed with a Cleveland Ohio child abuse attorney.
June 23, 2017
If a doctor's mistake has caused the death of your loved one, you may want to discuss what happened with a Cleveland Ohio medical malpractice lawyer or a Cleveland Ohio wrongful death attorney.
June 23, 2017
A personal injury attorney in Mayfield Heights Ohio can help you decide whether or not to file a lawsuit if your injuries may have been caused by another person's negligence.
June 23, 2017
If you have been injured in your head, please discuss what happened with a Cleveland Ohio head injury attorney or a Cleveland Ohio brain injury attorney.
PDC Building
3659 Green Road, Suite 325
Beachwood, Ohio 44122
Phone: (440) 477-6075
Fax: (216) 292-4615
Fax: (440) 756-1334
swj@swjlawoffice.com

Quick Contact

Name
Phone
Email
Comments/Questions
The Cleveland Accident Injury Lawyer on BlogSpot Twitter Facebook LinkedIn
Lawyer

Latest News

June 23, 2017
If your child has been seriously injured or killed as a result of another person's negligent conduct, then you may want to consider your legal remedies to hold the wrongdoer accountable. A Beachwood Ohio wrongful death attorney can help.
June 23, 2017
If the negligence of a children welfares agency or a mandatory reporter of abuse has caused serious injury or death to your minor child, you may be able to pursue legal remedies. Discuss how to proceed with a Cleveland Ohio child abuse attorney.
June 23, 2017
If a doctor's mistake has caused the death of your loved one, you may want to discuss what happened with a Cleveland Ohio medical malpractice lawyer or a Cleveland Ohio wrongful death attorney.
June 23, 2017
A personal injury attorney in Mayfield Heights Ohio can help you decide whether or not to file a lawsuit if your injuries may have been caused by another person's negligence.
June 23, 2017
If you have been injured in your head, please discuss what happened with a Cleveland Ohio head injury attorney or a Cleveland Ohio brain injury attorney.

Contact Information

PDC Building
3659 Green Road, Suite 325
Beachwood, Ohio 44122
Phone: (440) 477-6075
Fax: (216) 292-4615
Fax: (440) 756-1334
swj@swjlawoffice.com
Home   |   Mission Statement   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   The Cleveland Accident Injury Lawyer   |   News   |   Family Law   |   Divorce   |   Dissolution   |   Legal Separation   |   Child Custody   |   Child Support   |   Shared Parenting   |   Spousal Support (Alimony)   |   Property Division   |   Post Decree   |   Prenuptial Agreements   |   Third Party Visitation   |   Estate Planning   |   Personal Injury   |   Other Practice Areas   |   Attorneys   |   Resources   |   FAQ   |   Contact
All Rights Reserved 2017, Law Offices of Simon W. Johnson - Admin Login   |   Cleveland web design by Alt Media Studios

The Law Offices of Simon W. Johnson provides legal services to Cuyahoga County, Geauga County, Lake County, Lorain County, Summit County, Stark County, Portage County, Medina County and Ashtabula County including Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield, North Olmstead, Parma, Rocky River, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, Strongsville, Warrensville, Westlake, Chardon, Akron, Barberton, Stow, Elyria, Lorain, Canton, Mentor, Painesville, Willoughby, Kent, Ravenna, Medina, and Ashtabula.