Eramo V. Rolling Stone Case Summary

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COMM 3310 – LEGAL CASE BRIEF

Citation:
Name of the case — Eramo v. Rolling Stone
Case Published — The New York Times
Date Published — Nov. 7, 2016
Level of Court — Federal Court
Chapter or area of communication law that your brief applies to — Libel/Defamation.

FACTS:
Plaintiff, Nicole P. Eramo sued and won a libel lawsuit against the Rolling Stone, Wenner Media—Rolling Stone’s fellow company, and journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely over an article published in November 2014 called, “A Rape on Campus” in regards to a rape situation at the University of Virginia (“UVA”).
According to Eramo vs. Rolling Stone complaint, the plaintiff, Eramo’s argument was that her reputation was damaged through the media over false information about her involvement
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In contrast, Eramo immediately took action in Jackie’s case and arranged meetings with the victim and the Charlottesville Police Department to make the rapist accountable for their actions. In result, Jackie did not want to cooperate with law enforcement in describing the rape or give any names of the men involved – which concluded to no official police report.
ISSUE
Eramo had to prove that the defendant’s, the Rolling Stone and Erdely’s information in the article was actual malice.

COURT’S DECISION AND REASONING
Two years after the article was published and two weeks in trial, a federal jury of ten decided that Erdely did commit actual malice and unfairly portrayed Eramo’s reputation. Originally, Eramo requested for $7.5 million in damages, however the jury’s decision ordered Erdely to pay $2 million in damages to Eramo. The Rolling Stone and Wenner Media were ordered to pay her $1 million – a total of $3 million in damages. (Sisario)
According to the New York Times article, “the jury’s decision about the amount damages were not discussed in their conclusion of the defendant’s portion difference.”

DISSENT:
With a significant amount of research, I could not find a dissent to this specific case of any judges that were for or against the

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