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Torts Keyed to Prosser
Kilian v. Doubleday & Co., Inc.
Citation:367 Pa. 117, 79 A.2d 657
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- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
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- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Joseph O’Connell was a student in an English course taught by Dr. Wolfe at the American University in Washington, where the students were disabled veterans of World War II. The course involved the students writing essays detailing their personal experiences in the war. Dr. Wolfe decided to compile these stories and to have these personal narratives published in book form. So Dr. Wolfe entered into a contract with Doubleday & Company (defendant) to have his students’ work published in a book titled “The Purple Testament.” The book jacket advertised the narratives as consisting of “absolutely honesty.” In the book, O’Connell wrote an unflattering article about Colonel James Kilian (plaintiff). The article detailed acts of cruelty and unauthorized punishments administered by Colonel Kilian. O’Connell wrote the article in the first person point-of-view, which it made it seem as though he had actually witnessed the acts. The article also included a footnote stating that Colonel Kilian had been convicted of permitting cruel and unusual punishment of American soldiers. Colonel Kilian sued for libel and Doubleday & Company asserted the affirmative defense of truth.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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