US top court rejects Boston Globe libel appeal
03 Oct 2005 15:29:09 GMT
By James Vicini
WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court denied on Monday an appeal by The Boston Globe and a former reporter involving a $2.1 million jury award in a doctor's libel lawsuit over the newspaper's coverage of a fatal experimental cancer drug overdose in 1994.
Without comment or recorded dissent, the justices let stand a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that upheld the award to Dr. Lois Ayash, who said she had been wrongly blamed in the paper for the overdose that led to the death of Globe health columnist Betsy Lehman.
The Globe and reporter Richard Knox had refused to reveal his confidential sources, despite an order from the judge in the case.
The judge then issued a default judgment of liability for Ayash on her claims of libel, defamation and infliction of emotional distress. Default judgments are a sanction for failure to perform a legally required duty.
Attorneys for the Globe, which is owned by the New York Times Co.,