Nick Sandmann’s Lawyers File Giant Lawsuit Against The Washington Post

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
February 19, 2019USshare
Nick Sandmann’s Lawyers File Giant Lawsuit Against The Washington Post
Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann (center L), wearing a Make America Great Again hat, looks at Native American anti-Trump activist Nathan Phillips (center bottom) after being approached by the man in Washington, on Jan. 18, 2019. (Survival Media Agency via AP)

Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student, is suing The Washington Post for $250 million in damages.

“Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry filed their first lawsuit on behalf of Nicholas Sandmann against The Washington Post,” the statement of claim announced on Feb. 19.

“The lawsuit filed is included below. The suit seeks $250 million in both compensatory and punitive damages. Lin and Todd will continue to bring wrongdoers before the court to seek damages in compensation for the harm so many have done to the Sandmann family.”

Hemmer DeFrank Wessels Defamation Attorney Lin Wood and Trial Lawyer Todd McMurtry are accusing The Post of wrongfully pursuing and bullying Sandmann because he was white, Catholic, and wearing a “MAGA” baseball cap during a trip in Washington D.C. on Jan. 18.

Wood also claimed in a Twitter post the newspaper engaged in a modern form of McCarthyism that triggered large groups of social media users to threaten and attack Sandmann.

“The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump (‘the President’) by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President,” the law firm said.

The firm has also suggested this might be the first of many lawsuits filed against the mainstream media.

“This is only the beginning,” said the firm’s website, adding that the $250 million in damages was also the amount paid by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos when he bought the paper in 2013.

In a post to Twitter last weekend, Wood said he would start filing defamation suits against news outlets this week.

“Nick Sandmann is 16 years old has 2+ years to identify accusers [and] sue them,” he said. “No member of mainstream social media mob who attacked him should take comfort from not being sued in initial round of lawsuits, which will commence next week. Time is Nick’s friend, not his enemy.”

“At all times, Nicholas acted respectfully, responsibly, appropriately, and in a manner consistent with the values instilled upon him by his family and his religious faith,” the firm said.

police at covington catholic school
Students arrive at Covington Catholic High School as classes resume following a closing due to security concerns the previous day on Jan. 23, 2019, in Park Hills, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A spokesperson for The Post acknowledged the claim for damages in a statement to WLWT.

“We are reviewing a copy of the lawsuit and we plan to mount a vigorous defense,” said Kristine Coratti Kelly, vice president, communications and events at The Post.

In a photo that went viral from the incident, Sandmann, wearing the red baseball cap, stands face-to-face with Native American activist Nathan Phillips, looking at him with a smile while Phillips plays his drum.

A private investigation firm retained by Covington Diocese in Park Hills, Kentucky found no evidence the teenagers provoked a confrontation in a report released last week, Reuters reported.

The investigation also found the students did not direct any racist or offensive comments toward Phillips, the Native American activist who waded into their group, although several performed a “tomahawk chop” to the beat of his drum.

sandmann and phillips
Nick Sandmann from Covington Catholic High School stands in front of Native American activist Nathan Phillips while the latter bangs a drum in his face in Washington, on Jan. 18, 2019. (Kaya Taitano via Reuters)

Investigators said they found no evidence the students chanted “built that wall,” as Phillips claimed.

Several weeks ago, the teen’s lawyers sent “letters for potential lawsuits to over 50 entities ranging from Democratic politicians to celebrities to media figures.”

Flags fly over the Covington Catholic High School stadium
Flags fly over the Covington Catholic High School stadium in Park Kills, Ky., on Jan 20, 2019. (Bryan Woolston/AP Photo)

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, they include the following media companies and individuals:

The Washington Post

The New York Times

Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN)

The Guardian

National Public Radio


Atlantic Media Inc.

Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.

Diocese of Covington

Diocese of Lexington

Archdiocese of Louisville

Diocese of Baltimore

Ana Cabrera

Sara Sidner

Erin Burnett

S.E. Cupp

Elliot C. McLaughlin

Amanda Watts

Emanuella Grinberg

Michelle Boorstein

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

Antonio Olivo

Joe Heim

Michael E. Miller

Eli Rosenberg

Isaac Stanley-Becker

Kristine Phillips

Sarah Mervosh

Emily S. Rueb

Maggie Haberman

David Brooks

Shannon Doyne

Kurt Eichenwald

Andrea Mitchell

Savannah Guthrie

Joy Reid

Chuck Todd

Noah Berlatsky

Elisha Fieldstadt

Eun Kyung Kim


Bill Maher

Warner Media

Conde Nast


The Hill

The Atlantic

Ilhan Omar

Elizabeth Warren

Kathy Griffin

Alyssa Milano

Jim Carrey

Reuters contributed to this report.

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