Funk v. Lincoln-Lancaster County Crime Stoppers Inc.

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Funk v. Lincoln-Lancaster County Crime Stoppers Inc.

Case Number
S-15-0743
Call Date
May 24, 2016
Court Number
Lancaster
Case Summary

S-15-0743, Shayla Funk (appellee) v. Lincoln-Lancaster County Crime Stoppers, Inc. and City of Lincoln (appellant)

Lancaster County, Hon. Steven D. Burns

Attorneys: Vincent M. Powers (appellee); Elizabeth D. Elliott (Assistant City Attorney for City of Lincoln) (appellant)

Civil: libel and slander

Proceedings below: Shayla Funk filed this action in the district court for Lancaster County against the City of Lincoln and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Crime Stoppers, Inc. alleging libel, slander, violation of privacy by false light. After a trial, judgment was entered in favor of Funk and against the City and Crime Stoppers, and damages were awarded to Funk. The City appeals; Crime Stoppers did not appeal.

Issue: The City assigns on appeal that the district court erred when it (1) determined that qualified privilege did not apply, (2) determined the publication was done with malice, (3) determined the Facebook post was libel or defamation, (4) overruled City of Lincoln's motion for directed verdict for the violation of privacy by false light claim, (5) determined that damages were not limited to special damages only, (6) determined that the evidence was insufficient to support the damages awarded, (7) entered separate damages for joint tortfeasors, (8) awarded damages based on speculation or conjecture, (9) awarded punitive damages, (10) allowed the jury to determine a portion of the damages, and (11) ordered injunctive relief.