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Attorneys for Covington Catholic Student Sandmann Sue NBC Universal for $275M for Defamation

05-02-2019
Catholic student Nick Sandmann being confronted by Nathan Phillips. (Photo credit: screen capture from video)
Catholic student Nick Sandmann being confronted by Nathan Phillips. (Photo credit: screen capture from video)

Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann's attorney is suing NBC Universal for $275 million.

Sandmann is the teenager who found himself at the center of controversy after attending a March for Life event in January.

Video of him standing face-to-face with a Native American man went viral. Reports went out that he and other schoolmates were mocking the Native Americans at rallies that day, and that he had blocked a Native American activist from walking to the Lincoln Memorial.

Sandmann and a few other boys were wearing "Make America Great Again" hats, and some media critics have accused the major news outlets of assuming the boys were racists because of their MAGA hats.

Sandmann's lawyer says the NBC Universal media corporation "created a false narrative by portraying the alleged 'confrontation' as a 'hate crime' committed by Nicholas."

"Today, @LLinWood and I filed a $275,000,000 lawsuit against NBCUniversal on behalf of Nicholas Sandmann.  The facts of the suit show the anti-Trump narrative NBC pushed so hard," attorney Todd V. McMurtry posted on Twitter.

The case says NBC made "false and defamatory accusations" against the teenager, stating:

Plaintiff Nicholas Sandmann ("Nicholas"), a minor, the 16-year old student who stood quietly for several minutes after being unexpectedly confronted without explanation by Nathan Phillips ("Phillips"), a Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face on January 18, 2019, at the Lincoln Memorial (the "January 18 incident").

The lawsuit later states:

NBCUniversal's attacks on Nicholas included at least fifteen (15) defamatory television broadcasts, six (6) defamatory online articles, and many tweets falsely accusing Nicholas and his Covington Catholic High School ("CovCath") classmates of racists acts...  NBCUniversal created a false narrative by portraying the "confrontation" as a "hate crime" committed by Nicholas.

It continues:

NBCUniversal created panels on its talk shows to frame the January 18 incident as one involving a "hate crime" and demonstrating "white supremacy" as a result of "whites" being "emboldened" by President Trump's presence in the White House and repeated these premises over and over, while continuously showing a carefully selected few seconds from the heavily edited videos that omitted the entire context of the incident.

Sandmann's attorneys have already filed defamation lawsuits against CNN and the Washington Post as well.

After the wall-to-wall media coverage, Sandmann and other students at Covington faced violent threats that escalated to the point where their school had to be closed down for security reasons.  

 

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