True Justice On "False Light"
The Florida Supreme Court today struck down the "false light" provision, you know, the hare-brained Florida law that said that everything in an article could be true but the juxtaposition of sentences could create a false impression for which the newspaper was liable. From the top:
The Florida Supreme Court today said newspapers can't be sued for putting people in a "false light" with their reporting.
The court, deciding two cases, said the cause of action does not exist under Florida law. It's a victory for the news media, protecting against suits brought against reports that were factually true but could put the subjects in a false light. The court said other ways to sue, for defamation and libel, are available to plaintiffs.
"Because we conclude that false light is largely duplicative of existing torts, but without the attendant protections of the First Amendment, we decline to
recognize the tort and answer the certified question in the negative," the court wrote in a 5-0 decision written by Justice Barbara Pariente.
The court ruled in two cases.