Court Upholds $2 Million MA Verdict For Judge Vs. Newspaper


Massachusetts’ highest court yesterday upheld a $2.01 million libel verdict against the Boston Herald, calling the newspaper’s 2002 articles about Superior Court Judge Ernest Murphy “defamatory and false.” The stories portrayed Murphy as soft on crime and generated outrage by quoting anonymous sources as saying that the New Bedford jurist said about a 14-year-old rape victim, “Tell her to get over it.” Hate mail deluged Murphy’s office, causing him considerable emotional and physical distress, his lawyers said.

In 2005, a jury found that the Herald and reporter David Wedge had maliciously published false and defamatory material about the judge, meeting the high standard for libel. With interest, the newspaper may owe Murphy $3.4 million. Wedge said that he stood behind his reporting and denied fabricating information.


Comments are closed.