Westmoreland v. CBS, Inc. (Great American Court Cases)
Legal Citation: 596 F.Supp. 1170 (1984)
General William C. Westmoreland
CBS, Inc., Mike Wallace, George Crile, Sam Adams, Van Gordon Sauter
That a television documentary broadcast by CBS concerning the conduct of the Vietnam War libeled Westmoreland.
Chief Lawyers for Plaintiff
Dan M. Burt, David M. Dorsen
Chief Defense Lawyers
David Boies, Stuart W. Gold
Pierre N. Leval
New York, New York
Date of Decision
18 February 1985
The case was settled out of court before going to the jury.
The case affirmed stringent standards set for public figures to successfully seek libel damages through litigation. Public figures must prove actual malice. Despite evidence of press misconduct in this and a similar contemporaneous case involving Israeli leader Ariel Sharon, both plaintiffs lost. This case received significant national publicity and underscored the many problems with libel law in the United States. A number of national reforms were proposed...
(The entire section is 2067 words.)
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