Monday, July 1, 2013

Boston guitarist ordered to pay court fees in defamation suit

Boston guitarist Tom Scholz has been ordered to pay the Boston Herald more than $132,000 in court costs incurred by the newspaper in successfully defending itself against a defamation lawsuit filed by the rocker.

The Boston Herald reports Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre ruled that the costs were reasonably incurred by the Herald’s lawyers in preparing for the paper’s defense of a suit brought by Scholz that claimed the media outlet suggested that he was responsible for the 2007 suicide of Boston lead singer Brad Delp.

In addition, McIntyre found that Scholz’s lawsuit “raises the concern that the costs associated with extended defamation litigation may impact First Amendment rights by chilling the free expression of ideas and opinions by media defendants.” She added: “The threat of expensive litigation could put litigious persons of public interest beyond media commentators because of the feared expense.”

The court concluded “This court favors allowing costs in the instant case in order that the expenses of litigation that occurred here not induce an unnecessary and undesirable self-censorship.”

“Judge McIntyre’s decision is a reminder of the chilling effect that meritless defamation lawsuits can have on journalists, and of the harmful impact such suits can have on the public at large,” said Herald publisher Patrick Purcell. “We believe that this ruling is a very important one.”


See also:

Boston: Defamation lawsuit reinstated
Aerosmith, Extreme & more to perform at Boston Strong event
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Boston singer looking forward to new album
Boston announces summer tour
New Boston album almost complete
Boston singer returns to Stryper