Tuesday, June 19, 2007
In Thomas v. Telegraph Publishing, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has held that "[t]o justify applying the doctrine, the evidence of record must show not only that the plaintiff engaged in criminal or anti-social behavior in the past, but also that his activities were widely reported to the public. The evidence on the nature of the conduct, the number of offenses, and the degree and range of publicity received must make it clear, as a matter of law, that the plaintiff's reputation could not have suffered from the publication of the false and libelous statement." The plaintiff had alleged that an article in the Nashua Telegraph had defamed him by printing that he "“is suspected in more than 1,000 home burglaries in Massachusetts and New Hampshire since the mid-1970's, according to police and court records.” Read the entire ruling here. The case is Thomas v. Telegraph Publishing, 35 Med. L. Rptr. 1769 (2007).