Court Tosses Golfer’s Defamation Action – Truth, Opinion and Lack of Malice Protect Newspaper
A Florida Court has thrown out a lawsuit brought by professional golfer, John P. Daly (“Daly”), over an unflattering sports column published in March 2005. John P. Daly v. Morris Publishing Group, LLC d/b/a The Florida Times-Union, et al., Circuit Court, Duval County, Florida.
On March 17, 2009, the Court entered an order granting final summary judgment (the “Order”) in favor of the newspaper and the author, Mike Freeman, who now writes sports related columns for cbssportsline.com. The Court based its ruling on findings that the facts stated in the column were true, that comparisons made to other sports figures were non-actionable expressions of opinion, and secondarily that there was no evidence of actual malice.