What are some recent examples of public figures pursuing defamation suits in Minnesota or in the United States?
Minneapolis litigator David Olsen of Henson & Efron discusses a Sid Hartman defamation case back in the 1990s.
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In Minnesota, there haven’t been that many or at least not that get to a trial or a reported position. Defamation is so hard to prove that more often than not, when somebody files a defamation suit, especially if it’s not a national figure or a celebrity, the cases don’t get very far and they’re either settled out of court or settled quickly and quietly, or the plaintiff loses on a motion filing and never gets to a jury. One example I can think of is probably from the 1990s involving Sid Hartman. He made comments about the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers medical staff and why all these players are injured. And perhaps the staff wasn’t doing their job. And so the medical folks sued him. And unfortunately – well, fortunately for him, I guess, they lost because the burden of proof is so difficult.