David H. Rich and Megan C. Deluhery of Todd & Weld LLP represent Joanna Marinova, co-director of a local non-profit organization, Press Pass TV. On March 19, 2014, a 15-member Suffolk County jury returned a libel verdict in favor of Ms. Marinova against the Boston Herald and its reporter, Jessica Van Sack. After a three-week trial, on the third day of deliberations, the jury found the Herald and its reporter published false and libelous statements about Ms. Marinova and issued a verdict in favor of Ms. Marinova on both counts of her complaint, awarding her over $563,000 in damages. Under Massachusetts law, the judgment has accrued over $270,000 in interest.
Mr. Rich and Ms. Deluhery stated, "It has been our distinct privilege to represent Joanna Marinova. The jury's verdict informs the public that the Herald and its reporter knowingly published false and damaging statements about her. We both hope that the jury's verdict today serves to remedy the injustice that was done to Joanna Marinova on May 28, 2009 and to begin to restore her reputation."
Although the Court decided Ms. Marinova was a private figure for the article, as a matter of law, the jury nonetheless considered the limited purpose public figure standard of "actual malice" and found the standard was met here by Ms. Marinova, by clear and convincing evidence. The actual malice advisory question required Ms. Marinova to show that the Herald and Ms. Van Sack published the article with knowledge the statements were false or with reckless disregard of the truth.
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