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Torts Keyed to Prosser
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
Citation:376 U.S. 254, 84 S.Ct. 710, 11 L.Ed.2d 686
ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
The New York Times ran a full-page advertisement focusing on the student-led civil rights movement and the legal defense of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many of the allegations within the advertisement contained falsehoods and exaggerations. Nonetheless, certain paragraphs accused the police force in Montgomery, Alabama of spearheading a “wave of terror” against black student-protestors and Dr. King. Although L.B. Sullivan (plaintiff) was not explicitly named in the publication, he was the Montgomery commissioner who supervised the city’s police force. Sullivan contended that the charges could be read as referring to him. He brought a libel action against the New York Times Company (defendant), who publishes the newspaper.
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