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CNN Settles Nick Sandmann Lawsuit

CNN Settles Nick Sandmann Lawsuit

The settlement was announced in court today, but the dollar amount was not disclosed.

CNN has settled the lawsuit brought by Nicholas Sandmann over coverage of the incident in which Sandmann falsely was accused of trying to intimidate a Native American activist, according to local TV reports. Sandmann filed lawsuits against CNN, The Washington Post, and NBC. Initially the lawsuits were dismissed, but recently a portion of the lawsuits were reopened by the court and all three lawsuits were reactivated.

FOX 19 in Kentucky reports:

CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.

The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.


Sandmann’s attorney has confirmed the settlement:

An attorney for the family of Nick Sandmann says a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against CNN….

Sandmann’s attorney, Todd McMurtry, would not discuss details of the settlement, simply saying that a settlement had been reached Tuesday afternoon.

CNN also confirms the settlement:

The Cable News Network (CNN) has reached a settlement with Nick Sandmann, a Covington Catholic High School student who had sued the news outlet saying it defamed him.

A CNN spokesperson confirmed Tuesday with The Enquirer that a settlement was reached.

The network would not comment on the details of the settlement.


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I hope the movie comes out this year.

JusticeDelivered | January 7, 2020 at 3:43 pm

CNN, one down, many more networks to go.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to JusticeDelivered. | January 7, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    CNN, one down, many more networks to go.

    Oh please, CNN paid off the lawyers with a token amount (bet it isn’t anywhere near what the lawsuit was demanding) and in exchange they don’t have to admit they defamed Nicholas Sandmann in any way or even comment on the settlement. Gee, that’s really sticking it to CNN. With settlements like that the rest of the network lawyers must be quaking in their boots. No, not really. They must be laughing their heads off that they got away with it and the fact that the plaintiffs accepted the settlement.

      A $275 million lawsuit will not be settled for anything “token”.
      Yes Cnn with the hassle and embarrassment that could of potentially come from discovery decided to settle but that in no way suggests that it was token.
      Typically these out of court settlements are done at a percentage of the full amount at a range of 10 to 50% percent depending on factors.
      The Plaintiffs lawyer would rather insist on pursuing the full trial rather than accept a token amount that means nothing.
      Nick Sandman is now a wealthy young man.

        henrybowman in reply to leeman. | January 8, 2020 at 5:02 pm

        Think of it this way: CNN just funded Sandmann enough to afford a pugnacious legal team to pursue lawsuits against the other two defendants WITHOUT having to settle.


Close The Fed | January 7, 2020 at 3:48 pm

Isn’t Lin Wood handling these? He’s got experience with these.

I hope it HURT CNN, and hurt it BAD.

The dollar amount is kind of important. If it’s a cheesy $50K, then CNN got to walk. I hope it was in the millions.

Wasn’t the lawsuit in the tens of millions?

    rdmdawg in reply to Titan28. | January 7, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    “Sandmann attorneys Todd McMurtry and Lin Wood filed a $275 million lawsuit against CNN in March of last year in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.”

    $275 Mil

      fishstick in reply to rdmdawg. | January 7, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      if they were seeking 275 million

      then you would think they had to settle for no less than 100 million

      hopefully this payout will not be shadowed under some legal header

    MajorWood in reply to Titan28. | January 7, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    If we triple the cost of Lin Wood’s new vacation home, then we’ll have an approximate minimum of the settlement amount.

    This all needs to get hung on Oberlin, because it was their arrogance and despicable treatment of the Gibsons which began the push-back against the willy-nilly slander and accusations of racism. That behavior now has a price tag on it nd it ain’t small.

    Firewatch in reply to Titan28. | January 8, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Did he get cash or did he get CNN as his own network? CNN….Completely Nick’s Network.

Sandmann put CNN sleepy long time. Next up, the Nunes lawsuits.

    fishstick in reply to Lido.Isle. | January 7, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    no, hopefully what is next is the other 3 networks are forced to show their belly for trying they tried to do (did do) to this kid whom far more mature than that idiot beating on a drum

Interesting. Given the galaxy-sized egos at CNN I would have expected them to cry “DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR!!!” and fought this lawsuit tooth and nail, no matter the cost.

Blaise MacLean | January 7, 2020 at 3:54 pm

Two points:

1. CNN must have been desperate to avoid discovery.
2. I hope that the settlement is not secret and that it includes a public acknowledgement by CNN of its bias, slander and lies, as well as an apology broadcast as frequently as the lies. Give the kid a chance to have his reputation restored.

Their guilt is obvious. To even fight it in the first place was just a ploy to try to get a reduced settlement. The other defendants will probably line up behind them.

I am guessing the payout is in the millions but far short of the requested amount. #Smirk

Fake News Media will, no doubt, quash this Victory Story on their platforms.

Now for NBC and The Washington Post!

Called it.

I said when it survived a motion to dismiss they would settle. Under no circumstances would they allow it to proceed to discovery. They knew goddamn well what would come out.

I guarantee this was 7 figures minimum, possibly 8 figures. They were dead to rights and they knew it, and a jury could go for YUUUUGE numbers.

    henrybowman in reply to Olinser. | January 8, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    But there are two more potential lawsuits, and discovery for those may reach out and touch CNN after all.

    I love it when a plan comes together.

The Friendly Grizzly | January 7, 2020 at 4:28 pm

I’m not a lawyer. What WOULD have come out in discovery?

    Interoffice memos and emails that would expose them for the biased asshats they are.

    My guess is electronic communications with the following theme: “OMG look at this ahole kid in the MAGA hat!” “Ok, let’s bury this little MAGA hat wearing terd.” “I’m sniffing pulitzer’s all around if we can crush this MAGA f_*kr!”

    Blaise MacLean in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | January 7, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    Everything about how editorial decisions were made in the case including
    -everything they knew about the kids, the other participants etc
    – everything about when they found out their reports were wrong
    – bias in editorial decisions
    – instructions given to Reporters and on air staff

    Lots and lots. Everything about how the sausage is made. Stuff they never want to reveal. It’s why it was so important to get to discovery and why Washington Post tried to suppress case at start. (WP will see this and maybe try to settle)

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Blaise MacLean. | January 8, 2020 at 7:30 am

      Thank you to all who responded. I’m hoping at least one media outlet is stupid enough to take it to trial. This could prove both fun and revealing.

        In a perfect world, CNN would request a DNA for the settlement. but then one of the other defendants would take it to discovery which would then reveal any and all communications between them and CNN. I wonder if any disgruntled employees at any of these places, you know, the ones being laid off every other day, realize what sort of gold mine that they are sitting on with insider information.

I would bet you there is a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) insisted on by CNN. The irony is rich as CNN has repeatedly complained about Trump’s use of NDAs.

What’s good for the goose ….

1. Counsel would not settle the matter for 50 K. It would not come close to making Sandman whole.

2. There will be no leaks. If it were a small amount CNN would have leaked it.

Diversity (i.e. color judgment) breeds adversity. Perhaps CNN leaned something. The first domino wobbles, but resists, persists.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to n.n. | January 7, 2020 at 6:08 pm


    Oh yes, Divestity, the Democrat’s new word meaning Racism.

I absolutely love how the fake news media is helping one teenage American to become one of the countries youngest billionaires!!

Just goes to show that America truly is where dreams can come true!!

Yes Olsiner, this is YUUUGE….
not just the money but that CNN caved now…
did not think it worth dragging out till 2021….

BTW fellow posters…
This follow-up is exactly why I am a proud monthly supporter of
Team LI… cummon… open up those wallets for the new year.
(a bit of unsolicited advertising for the Professor. 🙂

It seems counterproductive to hide the terms of the settlement in a case such as this. It’s national news about a problem of national scope; the magnitude of the resolution should be known nationally, too. As this stands, we know that CNN was embarrassed, but have no idea whether or not there was a fitting or useful end to the entire affair. It’s like hearing that Britain beat France in the Seven Years’ War, without knowing that that meant that France was basically blown out of the New World, India/Ceylon, South Africa, etc. Were France merely to lose Martinique instead, Britain’s victory would be far less significant, and history would be radically altered.

Time for Trump to blow up CNN on the NDA.

Red Porsche with MAGA license plate. Drive it over too pick up your check Nick.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Anchovy. | January 8, 2020 at 7:35 am

    I think Sandmann is likely smart enough NOT to blow it on toys. Were I in his position, a vast chunk of it would go into solid and sound investments. THEN, buy the toys with the income from the investments.

    My brother attended high school with two of a famous four-man singing group of the time. They were selling records by the ton and the money was streaming in. One of the two still drive his best-up 12 year old Ford to school. When asked why he didn’t buy a Corvette or some such, his answer was, “Sure, we’re famous TODAY. Whst about next year? What about next month? I’m banking it because the fame could go in a flash, along with the bookings and royalties.”

    (Turns out they are still famous, but not Beatles or Stones famous.)

oh the irony, an advocate for freedom of information not disclosing a settlement amount
double standards anyone

Great blog, WAJ.
I’m with tom_swift on this.
I fear that, until the $$ amount emerges, the Left will crow that Nick settled for nickels (and no admission of guilt), and that this vindicates the MSM’s coverage of him.

That must have cost GE a lot of money. But, it’s just an expense for the swamp.

The a-hole who ran GE into the ground (Jeffery Immelt) is no longer at the helm of GE, but hopefully their shareholders will continue to pay the price for immelt’s deal with the devil:

I think we can safely say his college is paid for no matter where he goes to school.

Part of the deal should have included an hour a week show, broadcast in primetime

Anyone want to bet on how long it takes for the settlement amount to leak out?

Better yet, we should start a pool to guess the date.

(First: thanks for a great website! I especially appreciate the Oberlin/Gibson family coverage!)

This outcome fascinates me, and as I’m not an attorney and don’t have the time or expertise to “game” out all this, I’d be really interested if this website, or someone else, would explore the following:

1) What can be read between the lines about the nature of the settlement and how worried CNN was?

2) Does a non-disclosure agreement mean that neither party can even acknowledge the existence of the NDA? Can either party say, for example, that “yes, there is one, but it wasn’t our idea…”?

3) How likely is it that someone at CNN leaks details of this? (I’m assuming that Sandmann’s attorneys would have absolutely no reason to leak it…)

4) How likely is it that CNN would settle for a multi-million-dollar amount? Yes, on the one hand, the network might fear discovery; but on the other hand, existing first amendment law gives news media a lot of leeway (too much, some argue). Also, $275 million seemed, to this inexpert observer, an extreme amount. If the original ask was wildly high, then it wouldn’t give a meaningful indicator of the settlement, would it? (That said, I find it unlikely it was a token amount, either.)

Anyway…while I appreciate the observations of the commenters, these would seem to be good fodder for another post by LI’s resident scholars. Thanks in advance!