Virginia: Special Cases – a Lawyer’s Defamation

Virginia: Special Cases – a Lawyer’s Defamation

Askew v. Collins, No. 110323 (Va. Mar. 2, 2012) is a special caseof defamation and offset. The Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the trial court entering judgment on the full jury verdict of $350,000.00.

First, “as a matter of law, the jury needed no proof of damages suffered by Collins on which to predicate its compensatory award based upon the per se defamation negligence challenged by Askew. The reputational damages to Collins resulting from Askew’s statement was properly presumed, and the jury’s award of compensatory damages to Collins was appropriate under established common law principles of per se defamation.” Id. at 6.

Second, the January 8th “statement, for which Askew was found liable by the jury, was never alleged to have been made by any other defendant. The injury resulting from the [January 8th] statement was separate and distinct from the injury resulting from the publication of the newspaper article on January 21st, therefore makingCode §8.01-35.1(A) inapplicable in this case,” Id. at 7; and Askew not entitled to any reduction for the $120,000.00 settlement paid by The Daily Press, City of Hampton and its employee.