CNN Could Be Hit With $1B Defamation Suit Over Tapper

The case may not be as well known (yet), but CNN could be facing a defamation liability rivaling or exceeding the $787 million Fox News paid out to Dominion Voting Systems. NewsBusters recently reported on Florida’s First District Court of Appeals affirming that plaintiff Zachary Young could seek punitive damages, in addition to economic and emotional damages, from the Cable News Network in a civil trial after they allegedly defamed him regarding his work in getting people out of Afghanistan. The total could near or exceed $1 billion.

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For that outcome to be remotely in the cards, Young needed to prove malice and according to the ruling, he’s done exactly that. “Young sufficiently proffered evidence of actual malice, express malice, and a level of conduct outrageous enough to open the door for him to seek punitive damages,” Judge William Scott Henry wrote in the court’s ruling.

The court felt the high bars for actual and expressed malice were met because of internal CNN messages that were extremely vicious toward Young. Correspondent  Alex Marquardt, the “primary reporter” expressed in a message to a colleague that he wanted to “nail this Zachary Young mfucker” and thought the story would be Young’s “funeral.” On that declaration of wanting to “nail” Young, CNN editor Matthew Philips responded: “gonna hold you to that cowboy!”

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