Peoples Bank & Trust Co. of Mountain Home v. Globe International, Inc.

786 F. Supp. 791 (1992)

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Peoples Bank & Trust Co. of Mountain Home v. Globe International, Inc.

United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
786 F. Supp. 791 (1992)

Facts

Nellie Mitchell was a 96-year-old woman who had operated a newsstand in the Mountain Home, Arkansas, town square since 1963. She also made newspaper deliveries to downtown businesses. The Sun, a publication by Globe International, Inc. (Globe) (defendant) published a story that ran in the town. The story alleged that an elderly newspaper carrier was pregnant by a man on her newspaper route. The publication used a picture of Mitchell to accompany the story. Mitchell’s conservator, Peoples Bank and Trust Company of Mountain Home (Peoples Bank) (plaintiff) brought claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Globe. Testimony was presented that revealed writers for the Sun commonly based articles on factual circumstances even though Globe argued that the articles were only fiction and that its readers knew the same. Further, the authors did not distinguish between what was true and what was false in their stories. The jury found that Globe placed Mitchell in a false light and awarded Peoples Bank money damages. The jury found in favor of Globe on the defamation claim and then against Globe on the jury verdict. Globe moved for judgment as a matter of law or for remittitur of the jury award or for a new trial.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Waters, C.J.)

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