Case Example: Print.
Plaintiff, the chief administrator of a suburban community hospital, was the subject of a series of critical news reports and editorials published over a six month period by the local daily newspaper. The newspaper repeatedly published stories claiming the plaintiff was "under investigation" by the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged conflicts of interest and other improper acts in his role as the court appointed trustee in the bankruptcy of another hospital.
Mr. Lame conducted a detailed analysis of the newspaper's stories and allegations and the "questions" it repeatedly raised about plaintiff's alleged conduct. After reviewing deposition accounts of what the reporter, editor and publisher each did to prepare and publish the news reports, Mr. Lame conducted his own investigation as if he were the reporter assigned to the story and following accepted journalistic standards and practices.
Mr. Lame's investigation revealed that almost all of the "questions" raised by the newspaper about the plaintiff's conduct in the bankruptcy case had previously been asked and answered favorably in the course of the bankruptcy proceedings. His investigation further revealed that transcripts of these proceedings were readily available in the bankruptcy court's files prior to the publication of the newspaper's first report about the plaintiff.
Mr. Lame prepared a 35 page report in which he demonstrated how the newspaper failed to follow accepted journalistic standards and practices in its handling of the stories about the plaintiff. The report presented detailed factual support for Mr. Lame's expert opinion that the newspaper had created a false impression of the plaintiff either knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth.