(CNSNews.com) -- On Tuesday, Feb. 19, attorneys Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry filed a $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post on behalf of Nick Sandmann, the teenager from Covington Catholic high school who was allegedly falsely accused by many in the media of taunting Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist.
“This lawsuit is brought against the Post to seek legal redress for its negligent, reckless, and malicious attacks on Nicholas which caused permanent damage to his life and reputation,” the lawyers wrote, adding that the Post “published no less than six false and defamatory articles of and concerning” Sandmann.
On Jan. 18 at the March for Life, Nathan Phillips waded into a crowd of high schoolers from Covington Catholic and began beating a drum in front of Sandmann’s face. Sandmann stood quietly, facing Phillips and smiling. The brief exchange was part of a nearly two-hour incident, but a shortened clip went viral on social media that day, fueling misinformation.
The next day, Jan. 19, several news outlets accused Sandmann of racism and of “mocking” Phillips, pointing out his MAGA hat, Make America Great Again.
According to Wood and McMurty, “The Post rushed to lead the mainstream media to assassinate Nicholas’ character and bully him, publishing their first article no later than 1:37 p.m. January 19.”
The lawyers said the Post failed to “conduct a proper investigation” and verify the facts of the exchange, relying on “biased” sources such as Phillips while failing to use Sandmann or any of the other Covington students as sources.
Later, a full video of the exchange surfaced, which showed that the students had not instigated the exchange and that Phillips apparently had made false statements about Sandmann and the students. According to the lawyers, the Post did not use the full footage in its initial articles.
“The negligence and actual malice of the Post is demonstrated by its utter and knowing disregard for the truth available in the complete video of the January 18 incident,” Woods and McMurty wrote.
As a result of the media coverage, Sandmann received death threats, was viciously cyber-bullied and suffered “emotional distress” and damage to his reputation.
According to Wood and McMurtry, the Post targeted Sandmann “because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap.” In addition, the paper “ignored basic journalistic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.”