As reported in Lawyers Weekly's April 12, 2010, edition, Todd & Weld has served the Boston Herald with a defamation lawsuit on behalf of Joanna Marinova, a prison-rights advocate. David H. Rich, one of the Todd & Weld attorneys representing Ms. Marinova, asserts that the Herald's May 28, 2009, story intended to sensationalize a visit by Rep. Gloria Fox to the Old Colony prison in Bridgewater to investigate alleged incidents of inmate abuse.
In doing so, Mr. Rich says that the Boston Herald falsely reported that Ms. Marinova engaged in sexual acts with a convict in the prison's visitor room. The complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges that in publishing the story aimed at discrediting Rep. Fox, the Boston Herald blatantly ignored readily available facts that would have demonstrated the falsity of its assertions.
The complaint also names WHDH-TV which broadcast a follow-up story that reported that Ms. Marinova had “been caught having sex with the prisoner in a visitor's area.” Mr. Rich states, “For the stories to be true, this would have had to have happened in front of dozens of witnesses, on camera and in front of armed guards who were overseeing the visits.”
The Lawyers Weekly article also referenced another suit files on March 10, 2010, against the Boston Herald by Howard M. Cooper, a partner of Todd & Weld LLP, on behalf of another client who also claims that the newspaper defamed him.