Collins v. Federated Publications, Inc.

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

02/09/2009

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Indiana

Disposition: 

Dismissed (partial)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Timothy Collins, a former student of Purdue University, sued Federated Publications, publisher of the Journal & Courier newspaper, Purdue University, university officials, and others over allegedly defamatory statements in an article published on the newspaper's website, in anonymous comments to... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Purdue University; Board of Trustees of Purdue University; Purdue University Police Department; Stephen J. Akers; Lyman (Trea) R. Mitten, III; Jeanne V. Norberg; Alice M. D'Amore; Jane Does; John Does; Gary K. Evans; John K. Cox; Carrie K. Costello;

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization
Large Organization

Location of Party: 

  • Indiana

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Texas
  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Delaware

Legal Counsel: 

Jan M Carroll, Kara M Kapke - Barnes & Thornburg LLP (for Federated Publications, Inc.); Christina A Wright, Trenten D Klingerman - Stuart & Branigin LLP (for Purdue, Akers, Mitten, Norberg, Evans, Cox, Costello, Davis, Wietbrock); Wayne T Szulkowski
Description

Timothy Collins, a former student of Purdue University, sued Federated Publications, publisher of the Journal & Courier newspaper, Purdue University, university officials, and others over allegedly defamatory statements in an article published on the newspaper's website, in anonymous comments to that article, and on Facebook. 

According to court documents, the dispute revolved around a Journal & Courier article, "Student Who Reported Mugging Charged," which stated that Collins had been charged with misdemeanor false informing in connection with the investigation of the disappearance of another Purdue student.  Comments posted to the article and on Facebook allegedly linked Collins to the disappearance.  The complaint included claims for libel, false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.  

Federated Publications moved for judgment on the pleadings, and the court granted dismissal of all claims against it.  The court found that claims based on certain statements were barred by the statute of limitations, that Collins failed to make out a claim for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, that the Journal & Courier article was substantially true, and that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protected Federated for claims based on its users' comments.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Social Network
Website

Subject Area: 

  • Third-Party Content
  • Section 230
  • User Comments or Submissions
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Indiana

Source of Law: 

  • Indiana

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Court Type: 

Federal

Case Number: 

4:09-cv-12

Relevant Documents: