A federal jury on Monday ordered Rolling Stone and one of the writers for $ 3,000,000 in damages to be paid two years ago at a University of Virginia administrator over a discredited article about an alleged gang rape at the university.
. The jury in Charlottesville, Virginia, had already decided on Friday, after a trial period of two weeks, which Rolling Stone; Wenner Media, the parent company; and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the article, were liable for defamation in a case that are aimed at poor reporting and a lack of basic fail-safes in publishing.
After deliberation for less than two hours on Monday, the jury of eight men and two women decided that Mrs Erdely was liable for $ 2,000,000 of the total, and Rolling Stone and Wenner Media for $ 1 million. In her suit, filed in May 2015, the manager, Nicole P. Eramo, had asked for $ 7.5 million in damages.
The jury found that the allegations in the story, but also public statements after publication by Ms. Erdely and Rolling Stone were made with “actual malice,” the legal standard for libel against public figures. To meet that standard, a publisher must be found to have known that the information it published was false or reckless disregard of having had the truth.
Rolling Stone has not said whether he would appeal the verdict. Scott Sexton, an attorney for Rolling Stone, said Monday that according to the agreement with Mrs Erdely, the company was required to cover “any liability arising from the article.”