‘Huge Win’: Federal Judge Reopens Covington Kid’s Case Against WaPo

Monica Sanchez | October 29, 2019
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This is not a good news day for The Washington Post. 

“Covington Kid” Nick Sandmann’s case against The Washington Post has been reopened after a federal judge reversed his decision to dismiss the case over the summer.

Judge William Bertelsman said in his decision on Monday to allow the case to proceed into the discovery phase that “justice requires” further review.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports,

After reviewing an amended complaint, Judge William Bertelsman ordered Monday that the case could enter the discovery phase and hence a portion of the lawsuit against the newspaper could continue.

Nick and his attorneys had alleged that the gist of a Washington Post article conveyed that Nick had assaulted or physically intimidated Nathan Phillips and engaged in racist conduct after the Right to Life March in Washington D.C. on Jan. 18.

Sandmann's lawyers argue that the Washington Post incorrectly characterized the teen as the aggressor in the situation and exposed him to public ridicule.

Bertelsman said in the order that he stands by his decision that 30 of the 33 statements Sandmann's lawyers argued were libelous were not, but that ‘justice requires’ further review of three of the statements.

The three statements have to do with WaPo's reporting that Sandmann "‘blocked’ Nathan Phillips and ‘would not allow him to retreat,'” the order reads.

Sandmann’s attorney Todd V. McMurtry tweeted about the ruling on Monday, calling it “a huge win.”

The Covington Catholic High School student who found himself in the center of controversy earlier this year thanks to biased and unfair media coverage filed the lawsuit against WaPo in February. He and his family is requesting $250 million in damages.

As the Cincinnati Enquirer points out, “The judge's order that discovery can continue means Sandmann's legal team can make requests for internal Washington Post documents concerning the events like emails and communications between editors and reporters.”