Monday 18 March 2024

Michael Mann Wins $1 Million Verdict In Defamation Trial

 "Michael Mann Wins $1 Million Verdict In Defamation Trial

Victory over climate deniers sends a strong message in defense of climate science and scientists.
Professor Michael E. Mann's lawyer called attacks on the scientist "vile." Credit: Julian Meehan/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

"In a victory for climate scientists, jurors in Michael Mann’s defamation case against Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn awarded Mann $1 million in punitive damages for defamatory comments made in 2012.

In a unanimous decision, jurors agreed that both Simberg and Steyn defamed Mann in blog posts that compared Mann to convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State University. They announced that Simberg will pay $1,000 in punitive damages and Steyn will pay the larger $1 million.

Standing in front of the courthouse smiling with his legal team after the verdict was read, Mann told DeSmog that he trusted the jury to see through the “smoke and mirrors” that the defense used during the trial.

“One million dollars in punitive damages makes a statement,” he said in an exclusive interview. “This is about the defense of science against scurrilous attacks, and dishonest efforts to undermine scientists who are just trying to do our job.”

Mann also noted that the trial was about defamatory statements made in an effort to discredit scientists “whose findings might prove inconvenient to certain ideologically driven individuals and outlets.”

“It’s about the integrity of the science and making sure that bad actors aren’t allowed to make false and defamatory statements about scientists in their effort to advance an agenda,” he added.

Peter Fontaine, one of Mann’s lawyers, told DeSmog he was “thrilled with the outcome.”"

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