Tell the Truth, Get Sued, Lose $60,000

Johnny Northside, like myself, is a blogger. Unlike myself Mr. Northside has been sued because he told the truth:

Though blogger John (Johnny Northside) Hoff told the truth when he linked ex-community leader Jerry Moore to a high-profile mortgage fraud, the scathing blog post that got Moore fired justifies $60,000 in damages, a Hennepin County jury decided Friday.

The jury awarded Moore $35,000 for lost wages and $25,000 for emotional distress. The civil verdict culminated a nearly two-year legal scuffle between John Hoff, whose blog, The Adventures of Johnny Northside, has 300 to 500 readers daily, and Moore, former director of the Jordan Area Community Council.

Moore was fired by the University of Minnesota in June 2009, the day after Hoff’s post.

Mr. Northside’s blog post that ended the job of Mr. Moore wasn’t libel or slander, it was factual. Yet a jury decided that telling the truth is a bad thing and thus found Mr. Northside in error, $60,000 worth of error. Not only that but $25,000 of that fine was for “emotional distress.” How does one calculate the value of emotional distress? Is there some kind of formula I’m unaware of or it the value just set all willy-nilly at the end of the court case?

Obviously Mr. Northside is appealing as this is certainly a bum result. Mr. Moore was an employee of the state since he worked at the University of Minnesota. As an employee of the state it is the right of every Minnesotan to have him terminated from our employ if he does something we find undesirable. My tax dollars shouldn’t be going to fund something whom is committing any form of fraud. Hopefully Mr. Northside wins his appeal and Mr. Moore ends up paying Mr. Northside $85,000 (repay the $60,000 and add another $25,000 for emotional distress).