From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...
DiSalle v. P.G. Publishing Co.
Pennsylvania Superior Court
544 A.2d 1345 (1988)
Dave Warner was an editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Post-Gazette), a newspaper owned by P. G. Publishing Co. (defendant). Warner was contacted by Paul Ciaffoni, who described his family’s dispute over the legitimacy of his deceased father’s will. Ciaffoni claimed Richard DiSalle (plaintiff), a local attorney and judge, conspired with Ciaffoni’s sister Elizabeth Cowden to falsify the will. Post-Gazette reporter Tom Porter was assigned to the story. Porter primarily relied on Ciaffoni to draft the article. Warner read the draft and pointed out that the article offered no reason for why DiSalle would become involved in the dispute, so Porter added a quote pulled from a will-related deposition of the deceased father. This quote suggested DiSalle was involved in the controversy because he had a romantic relationship with Cowden. Upon publication of the article, DiSalle sued for libel in Pennsylvania state court. The trial court permitted the jury to consider punitive damages because it determined that both actual malice and common-law malice had been established. The jury returned a verdict awarding DiSalle $210,000 in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages. P. G. Publishing appealed the punitive-damages award, arguing that the trial court erred by allowing the jury to consider punitive damages and by failing to set aside the award as excessive.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cirillo, J.)
Dissent (Montgomery, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 602,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 602,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.