UC Berkeley Student Editor Not Responsible for Emotional Distress Court Rules

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As iMediaEthics previously reported, Harvey Purtz filed a lawsuit against the editor-in-chief of the Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s student newspaper, for not removing an article and two blog posts from its website.  The stories were about Purtz’s deceased son, Chris Purtz, a former football player for UC Berkeley.

Harvey Purtz asked for the editor-in-chief, Rajesh Srinivasen, to remove the stories but Srinivasen said no.  Purtz then sued for $7,500 as a result of “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

A court found in favor of the Daily Californian’s editor-in-chief Rajesh Srinivasen.  “The court ruled that libel on the memory of a deceased person is not deemed to inflict legal action constituting defamation on surviving relatives,” according to the Daily Californian. Also, the statue of limitations  — two years for emotional distress after first publication — had passed.

“I’m pleased that the court made the right decision,” Srinivasan is quoted as saying. “While I’m open to talking to (Purtz) in the future, I anticipate the decision will be the same. Nevertheless, I sympathize with Mr. Purtz.”

Hat Tip: Romenesko


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UC Berkeley Student Editor Not Responsible for Emotional Distress Court Rules

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