In one of the most viral videos of the year (above), high school student Nick Sandmann is seen smirking while seeming to block Native American Nathan Phillips on the Washington Mall back in January. Sandmann’s family argued their son’s role in the incident was mischaracterized by the Washington Post (and other publications). But Friday a judge threw out a $250 million lawsuit filed against the newspaper was thrown out. USA Today reports:
William Bertelsman, who heard oral arguments in the case earlier this month, issued the ruling Friday.
Nick and his attorneys, Todd McMurtry and L. Lin Wood, alleged that the gist of The Washington Post’s first article conveyed that Nick had assaulted or physically intimidated Nathan Phillips, engaged in racist conduct, and engaged in taunts.
But, Bertelsman wrote, “this is not supported by the plain language in the article, which states none of these things.”
The Washington Post issued a statement saying:
From our first story on this incident to our last, we sought to report fairly and accurately the facts that could be established from available evidence, the perspectives of all of the participants, and the comments of the responsible church and school officials. We are pleased that the case has been dismissed.
The family says they plan to appeal the decision. They also have case pending against CNN and NBC.