Jury: Virginian-Pilot Newspaper Committed Libel

May 25, 2012

A Chesapeake jury has found that The Virginian-Pilot committed libel against an assistant principal at a local high school.

The newspaper reports the jury awarded Phillip Webb $3 million in damages on Thursday. The lawsuit stems from a 2009 story that said Webb's son was not disciplined by the school system after the boy's arrest for assault.

In court, Webb's attorney said the newspaper implied Webb's son had received preferential treatment from the school system because of his father's job at Oscar Smith High School. He said the newspaper had no proof of any misconduct and that the story damaged his reputation.

Conrad Shumadine, an attorney for the newspaper, said the story was accurate.

Attorneys for the newspaper are asking the judge to set aside the jury's verdict.


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