Doctor Wins $10 Million Libel Suit Against Florida Newspaper

September 4, 2009

A jury has sided with a Tampa Bay doctor in a libel suit against Times Publishing Co., the parent company of the St. Petersburg Times.

The decision calls for Dr. Harold L. Kennedy, former chief of medicine at Bay Pines VA Medical Center, to receive more than $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

Times Publishing says it will appeal the verdict.

The lawsuit was filed in 2005 over three articles the Times ran in December 2003. Kennedy’s suit claimed the articles implied the doctor engaged in corruption, theft and malfeasance, which damaged his reputation.

A Times attorney told the jury that all the statements in the articles were true.

The articles’ writer, Paul de La Garza, died in 2006, and the judge excluded his notes from the trial.

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