Thursday, January 17, 2008

Henderson's Counsel Won $3.5 Million from Citizens Voice in Defamation Action

The following item pertaining to the Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre is from the web site of Kohn Swift & Graf, P. C. of Philadelphia, one of two law firms representing former commissioner Molly Henderson in her suit against the Lancaster Newspapers and others:

On October 27, 2006, in Joseph v. The Scranton Times, LP, et al., Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella entered a verdict in favor of Plaintiff Thomas A. Joseph for reputation and economic damages in the amount of $3.5 million.

In a two-week bench trial, KS&G proved that Plaintiff Thomas A. Joseph, a businessman in Pittston, PA, and his business Acumark were defamed by The Scranton Times, LP's daily publication The Citizens' Voice.

In a series of ten articles published in June of 2001 through October of 2001, The Citizens' Voice falsely linked Mr. Joseph and his businesses to a variety of illegal activities. At trial, KS&G not only proved that the articles were false and defamatory but that The Citizens' Voice violated acceptable journalistic standards by negligently reporting, editing, and publishing these articles.

On November 6, 2006, Defendants filed a motion for post-trial relief requesting that the Court either enter a new judgment in favor of Defendants, reduce the amount of damages or order a new trial. Within two days, Judge Ciavarella summarily denied Defendants' motion.