City Paper yesterday lost a defamation suit brought by a Miami restauranter who CP's Van Smith incorrectly identified in a 2008 story as a federal fugitive (Press Check detailed the case earlier this week). The alternative weekly has been ordered to pay defendant Ionnas Kafouros $350,000 for defamation and actiing with negligence. They did not find that Smith or CP acted with malice, and so the defendent is not entitled to punitive damages.
Press Check got in touch with City Paper publisher Don Farley this afternoon and asked if the the $350,000 judgement would affect the alt-weekly's survival or ability to continure publishing, he said, flatly, "No."
"The outcome was certainly disappointing," said Farley. "When you're dealing with a jury and what a jury believes, as far as money, that's where we ended up."
Farley added that he and City Paper's lawyers haven't decided whether or not they will appeal the decision. He also declined to say whether or not the alt-weekly, which is owned by Scranton, Penn.-based Time-Shamrock Communications, had insurance that would cover the damages.