N.E. Pa. paper prevails in 2nd defamation trial

AP News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2011 2:03 PM
N.E. Pa. paper prevails in 2nd defamation trial

A northeastern Pennsylvania newspaper has won a nearly 10-year court battle over a businessman's defamation lawsuit that the paper alleged was initially fixed by a now-jailed county judge.

Luzerne County Judge Joseph Van Jura found in favor of The Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, following a second trial that had been ordered when the state Supreme Court threw out an earlier $3.5 million verdict.

Businessman Thomas Joseph claimed the paper defamed him by writing stories connecting him to a federal investigation involving a reputed mob boss. He was never charged.

Van Jura found there was no evidence Josephs had suffered losses.

The new trial was ordered after a review found the decision was tainted by the misconduct of a county judge now jailed in an unrelated juvenile justice scandal.