CNN Faces Defamation Lawsuit Over Afghanistan Coverage: Court Allows Pursuit of Damages

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/24/2024
CNN could be held liable for defamation to the same extent as Fox News, which paid Dominion Voting Systems $787 million. The First District Court of Appeals in Florida upheld Zachary Young's right to pursue punitive damages in a civil trial against the Cable News Network, along with compensatory and emotional damages, for their purported defamatory remarks about his work evacuating individuals from Afghanistan.

The sum may come close to or above $1 billion. Young had to demonstrate malice, and the court found that he has. The court determined that internal CNN communications that were highly hostile against Young satisfied the high standards for real and expressive malice.

CNN's internal accountability system had clearly failed, and CNN's communications revealed a "systemic problem" within the organization. Over the course of his now-damaged career as a security contractor, Freedman told NewsBusters that his client had lost between $40 and $60 million in economic opportunities because others in the field no longer wanted to deal with him.

The maximum amount a jury may award his client for emotional damages could reach $600 million. The court essentially abolished Florida's ceiling on punitive damages after finding that CNN had acted with malice and in an egregious manner.


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