In an online story published June 6, 2013, by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, David H. Rich, a partner with Todd & Weld LLP, is quoted extensively in offering his opinion with regard to a suit for defamation filed by two men against the New York Post for misidentifying them as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Mr. Rich, who has represented plaintiffs in numerous libel suits but is not involved with this case, said that "the issue will come down to how a reasonable reader of the newspaper would interpret the headline and photograph. Even if the story made it clear that the plaintiffs were not suspects within the body of the article, the law cannot assume that a member of the public reads the entire piece."
Mr. Rich referred to a decision of the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Stanton v. Metro Corp.) which addressed a similar issue in 2006. In commenting on the Stanton case, Mr. Rich said, "It is for a jury to decide whether a reasonable reader would've concluded that a person identified in a photograph is either the subject matter of the story or the headline."
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