|Gardere internet and technology attorney Peter Vogel quoted in WFAA.com newsw story |
Judge throws out $14 million Internet libel case
|June 13, 2012 11:45 am|
It was a jaw-dropping verdict: $14 million for posting libel on the Internet.
Some said it was the largest award of its kind.
Then the judge just did something equally surprising — she threw out the jury's decision.
Mark and Rhonda Lesher said their reputations were damaged by hateful messages on an Internet message board.
The case originated when the Leshers were accused — and acquitted — of sexual assault. They alleged that blog posts smearing them were written, in part, by Jerry Coyle, who was the alleged victim’s husband.
Peter Vogel practices Internet law in Dallas with the firm of Gardere Wynn and Sewell. He says even if he judge overturned the jury, the Lesher case is just the beginning — not the end — of online libel cases.
"I think that this Lesher case if probably a great indicator that we're going to see more cases like this where people will challenge these anonymous postings that are libelous, and I think that's the right thing to happen,” Vogel said.
The Leshers were not available for comment on Wednesday.
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