Sarah Palin Sues NYT for Ad Revenue in Libel Case

Sarah Palin Sues NYT for Ad Revenue in Libel Case

Kevin Daley

Politics, Americas

The New York Times edited the article, but denied allegations of bad faith.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin filed a complaint in her libel lawsuit against The New York Times, after the paper published an editorial that falsely linked Palin to the 2011 shooting of former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords.

The filing, which proceeds a jury trial that will begin in June, seeks financial damages as well as any advertising revenues the paper might have raised from the editorial.

“The Times reaped ill-gotten gains from Internet advertising on the Palin Article, which under the unique and special circumstances of this case, it should not be permitted to retain,” the complaint reads.

“The Times should not be permitted to profit from a false and defamatory column printed with actual malice and with the knowledge that because of the identity of the victim of the publication it will inevitably ‘drive viewership and web clicks,’” it adds.

Palin’s original lawsuit similarly sought disgorgement of advertising revenues the editorial might have generated. The paper countered that the governor cannot ask for those monies. Lawyers for the Times say the only remedy available in a defamation lawsuit is a financial award for reputational harms or attendant physical and emotional injuries. Palin cannot seek advertising dollars in addition to a damages award, they argued.

“There is simply no precedent for the proposition asserted in the Complaint that Mrs. Palin is entitled to disgorgement of The Times’s advertising revenue as an element of her damages in this defamation action,” NYT lawyers wrote at an earlier phase of the case.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived her lawsuit in August, after a federal trial judge in Manhattan dismissed the case in August 2017. The 2nd Circuit said the dispute “took an unusual procedural turn” that warranted reversal.

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