Legal Question in Legal Ethics in North Dakota

slander-news shows wrong picture

A TV news show recently did a story about a school administrator who resigned after being on paid leave due to inappropriate actions. He received a settlement and the story revolved around the inappropriate actions and the monetary settlement. A picture of the administrator was flashed on the screen, but they put the wrong picture up--they put up my picture instead (TV station told me their graphics guy clipped the wrong picture from our school web page!). I have been deluged with not so-humorous comments from staff and friends. Some of my staff has even been asked by people if their principal is like that other one (who resigned)? A former secretary in another community received a call from her daughter's mother-in-law askking if she heard about the trouble her former boss was in?

I am a new adminstrator in this district and have definitely had to do a lot of explaining lately (that it wasn't me!). Do I have any legal options?

Asked on 2/19/02, 6:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Charles Aspinwall Charles S. Aspinwall, J.D., LLC

Re: slander-news shows wrong picture

You may have several legal options including libel, defamation of character, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. You should consult with a personal injury attorney in your city if you wish to pursue the matter.

Without a proveable monetary loss, however, your case may be worth more as a matter of principle than one of money.

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Answered on 2/19/02, 6:14 pm

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