Climatologist Michael Mann wins defamation case: what it means for scientists

Discussion in 'Science' started by Bowerbird, Feb 13, 2024.

  1. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    An excerpt from the prestigious science magazine “nature”.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00396-y

    Not only is this a “win” for truth in science and against denialism but also a blow against trolling and online death threats. More and more we will see these cases where the authors of blog post which has sparked violent threats against someone will be held to account. This is a good thing as it will, hopefully, inject some truth telling into the internet
     
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  2. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    Actual damages were set at $1. Punitive damages of $1M are well outside maximum allowable federal guidelines (10:1) so those will be reduced. (Maximum allowable would be only $10.) There is also the real possibility the verdict will be overturned on appeal on free speech grounds. A verdict for Steyn et al was always a long shot in DC, and an appeal will not be a surprise. Legal fees for both sides are well-funded, so the fight will continue.
     
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  3. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    Here's another view.
    A BITTERLY DISAPPOINTING VERDICT
    Anthony Watts
    Foreword: The title is an understatement. As I heard the verdict yesterday, like many of you, my heart sank. I wondered if truth and sanity would ever prevail. The execrable Mann squeaked by again. But there is hope courtesy of this report. Excerpt, bold mine. – Anthony

    In a statement, a spokesperson for Steyn said the $1 damages award proves the jury found Mann didn’t suffer any losses.

    “We always said that Mann never suffered any actual injury from the statement at issue. And today, after twelve years, the jury awarded him one dollar in compensatory damages,” said Steyn’s manager, Melissa Howes. “The punitive damage award of one million dollars will have to face due process scrutiny under U.S. Supreme Court precedent.”

    The U.S. Supreme Court has indicated that punitive damages awards 10 times greater than compensatory damages awards are generally unconstitutional.

    https://tnc.news/2024/02/08/mann-defamation-lawsuit-steyn-simberg3/ . . . .

    Where do we go from here? The trial judge was openly skeptical of Mann’s case, and seemed to take seriously the defendants’ motions for a directed verdict. Those motions presumably were renewed at the close of evidence, and the court might now take them up. It requires a brave judge to take away a jury verdict, but Judge Irving, presiding in this case, was low-key but seemed, if pushed too far, to have a backbone. So who knows, he might do the right thing.

    In any event, the case is destined for more years in the appellate courts. In John Williams’ closing argument on behalf of Mann, he said that the jury should award punitive damages so that in the future, no one will dare engage in “climate denialism”–whatever that is–just as Donald Trump’s “election denialism” needs to be suppressed. In 41 years of trying cases to juries, I never heard such an outrageously improper appeal. John Williams should be ashamed of himself, but he won’t be, because this jury apparently bought his argument: they want to make Mark Steyn pay $1 million out of his own pocket, to a plaintiff who suffered no damages but only made an ideological argument, so that no one will, ever again, try to challenge the regime’s global warming narrative. However false that narrative may be.

    Ironically, the case may have come full circle. Mark always wanted to try this case as a free speech issue. But that didn’t quite work, since defamation has always been an exception to the First Amendment, or whatever free speech principles may apply. But now Michael Mann’s lawyer has made it explicit: impose an arbitrary seven figure penalty on Mark Steyn, not to compensate the plaintiff Michael Mann, who didn’t suffer any damages whatsoever, but rather to deter anyone from ever again arguing that climate change alarmists are wrong, however flawed their science may be.

    It is hard to imagine anything more anti-scientific or anti-American. Let’s hope that somewhere in the federal court system, there are judges who realize what is at stake.
     
  4. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    You mean the journal that was prestigious until it was taken over by anti-fossil-fuel nonscience?
    But mostly, it just proves (again) that the idiosyncratic US system of jury trial for civil actions is absurd and dysfunctional.
    No, because it's just more evidence that truth is no longer considered an absolute defense in libel actions.
     
  5. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    :roflol::roflol::roflol:

    Grasping at straws. Thanks for the conspiracy theory
     
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  6. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    Where did you get that? “Thingsiwanttobelieve.com”?
     
  7. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    You know every other report on the net says that Mann was awarded 1 million dollars - so who is right?
     
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  8. Pieces of Malarkey

    Pieces of Malarkey Well-Known Member

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    Probably the one that took the time to try to know what they were talking about.
     
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  9. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    Really? I cannot find one verification of any of the “facts” in an article published on a website at risk of also being sued
     
  10. Pieces of Malarkey

    Pieces of Malarkey Well-Known Member

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    I see several posted on these boards including ones that link to the actual decision documentation (it was a lawsuit settled in a court of law, you know. That has to be documented- by law). Guess you should try learning how that works in this country.
     
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  11. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    Actual damages were set at $1. The $1M figure is for punitive damages and is wildly beyond the limit set by the Supreme Court.
    Here's the relevant precedent.
    Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003) A punitive damages award should have a single-digit ratio to the compensatory damages award. In other words, a ratio of 9:1 is the maximum acceptable. In addition, the court may not consider the defendant's assets to justify an excessive award.

    The Supreme Court's Evolving View on Punitive Damages
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2024
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  12. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    Everyone on earth who tells the truth about Michael "Piltdown" Mann is at risk of being sued.
     
  13. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    Dude got damages of $1. Mann is a fraud. Facts don't lie.
     
  14. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    Clearly not you. Punitive damages exceeded the SCOTUS cap, since the actual award was $1. SCOTUS doctrine says punitive can't be more than 10X. So, he gets $10s. And wasted everyone's time and energy litigating this frivolity. Facts don't lie.
     
  15. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    Great citation, I hadn't seen you had already provided it.... Not that the OP was ever going to actually look for it...
     
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  16. bringiton

    bringiton Well-Known Member

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    Hehe. Because you look only at the mainstream media reporting on the verdict rather than the text of the verdict. It took me half a minute to find this on the Nature website:
    "After a three-week trial in the Washington DC Superior Court, the jury ordered both Simberg and Steyn to pay $1 in compensatory damages."
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00396-y

    The really disgusting part is how "Piltdown" Mann has screamed about the harm to his professional reputation when the scientists whose careers and reputations have really been damaged are all on the climate realist side. They are just too honorable to bring lawsuits against lying sacks of $#!+ like Mann.
     
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  17. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    That being said....y'all lost big time.
     
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  18. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    To the tune of $10s... I suppose you think that's "Biggly"....
     
  19. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well, no.
     
  20. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    Well yes. Y'all been hyping this thing up for awhile now. I can imagine the propaganda if the Judge ruled against Mann.
     
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  21. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    One million - that is what the reputable news sources are reporting - remember too that the original employers of these bloggers fired them.
     
  22. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    Sigh - why m I not surprised replies would be cherry picked??

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00396-y
     
  23. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    He didn't ask for damages.
     
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  24. Pieces of Malarkey

    Pieces of Malarkey Well-Known Member

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    Without the punitive damages which you claim he didn't ask for, he won $1. At this point anyways.

    It's pretty much guaranteed to be further appealed so he will have to wait a long time to get that dollar. If he gets it at all.
     
  25. Pieces of Malarkey

    Pieces of Malarkey Well-Known Member

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    Because you don't understand the American legal system?
     

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