Covington Catholic Teen's Lawyer: Hundreds in Media Will 'Pay a High Price' for Defamation
One of the attorneys representing Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann and his family says he's confident that the media entities that smeared the 16-year-old boy will eventually be brought to justice in a Covington, Ky., courtroom.
"We clearly think that we're going to be able to get these issues in front of a jury, and frankly, that jury is most likely to be here in Covington Kentucky," said Sandmann family attorney Todd McMurtry Thursday. He added, "And this whole community knows what happened."
McMurtry spoke with Fox News Radio's Todd Starnes by phone, saying he and co-counsel L. Lin Wood will be taking "pretty strenuous legal action" against potentially hundreds of media entities to make right some of the wrongs that have forced the family into hiding and damaged the boy's reputation.
The teen's name was dragged through mud after a viral video clip showed him smiling at Native American activist Nathan Phillips during an incident at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on January 18.
A nationwide media frenzy erupted and the Covington boys were falsely accused of mocking Phillips, prompting hundreds of threats against the school and the school's students from across the country by phone, email, and social media.
McMurtry recounted that when he first saw the viral video online it only took him about a half an hour of browsing to discover what had really happened, yet major media outlets were running the incorrect story alleging that Nicholas and the Covington boys were mocking and bullying Phillips.
The lawyer told Starnes that he and Wood have received "literally hundreds of thousands of pages of documentation from the internet" and are working with outside sources to sift through the "mountains of information" they've received.
"This is going to take some additional time, but we do have a team of about seven attorneys working on this so we're moving as quickly as we can," McMurtry said.
The team has already identified over 50 people who may be liable and have sent them document preservation letters.
The letters were sent to media outlets, individual journalists, celebrities, and several Catholic dioceses as the first step in potential libel and defamation lawsuits.
The list includes 50-plus names of organizations or individuals: from presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren to actress Alyssa Milano; individual journalists including Maggie Haberman, Ana Cabrera and David Brooks; national media outlets like the The New York Times, CNN, GQ and TMZ; and the dioceses of Covington and Lexington as well as the archdioceses of Louisville and Baltimore.
Because information keeps pouring in, McCurtry predicted that "when it's all over, the list is going to be in the hundreds."
When Starnes pointed out that many legal experts are saying that the Covington case will be tough to win in court, McMurtry demurred.