Nicholas Sandmann filed suit against numerous media entities after the false and misleading portrayals of him and his interaction with a Native American activist who banged a drum inches from Sandmann’s face.

Sandmann settled with CNN and WaPo for undisclosed amounts, his suit against NBC survived a motion to dismiss, and there is a pending motion to dismiss in his suit against Gannett.

In an important series of rulings, the federal judge handling the cases just entered orders denying motions to dismiss his cases against the NY Times, ABC, CBS, and Rolling Stone. So those cases will move forward.

Here are links to each of the Orders:

Sandmann v. NY Times – Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

Sandmann v. CBS News – Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

Sandmann v. ABC News – Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

Sandmann v. Rolling Stone – Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

The Orders are very similar. Here is the key reasoning from the NY Times case:

Greatly summarized, the Complaint alleges that Sandmann was libeled by the defendant when it published a news article stating that Sandmann, while at the Lincoln Memorial, “blocked” NativeAmerican activist Nathan Phillips and “prevented Phillips’ retreat while Nicholas and a mass of other young white boys surrounded, taunted, jeered and physically intimidated Phillips.” (Compl. ¶ 3).

This news story is alleged to be false and defamatory. (Id.). Sandmann further alleges that this publication by defendant and similar stories by other news media caused him to be harassed by the public, causing him great emotional distress. (Compl. ¶¶ 25, 162-164, 251-257). Sandmann also alleges that defendant’s article “is now forever a part of the historical Internet record and will haunt and taint Nicholas for the remainder of his natural life and impugn his reputation for generations to come.” (Compl. ¶ 254).

The motion to dismiss argues that this publication is not libelous, but the Court has ruled in companion cases that it is libelous. The Court continues to hold that opinion for the reason stated in such preceding cases. See Sandmann v. The Washington Post, Cov. Case No. 19cv19 (Docs. 47, 64); Sandmann v. Cable News Network, Cov. Case No. 19cv31 (Docs. 43, 44); Sandmann v. NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Cov. Case No. 19cv56 (Doc. 43).

So all the suits go forward.

 

 
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