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Teacher Wins $4M Libel Award Against Online Blogger

A jury has awarded a Clarkstown teacher a $4 million verdict.
A jury has awarded a Clarkstown teacher a $4 million verdict. Photo Credit: File

A Rockland County blogger was hit with a $4 million verdict for allegedly cyber-bullying a local Clarkstown elementary school teacher on her blog.

Meredith Trussell-Slutsky of Clarkstown was awarded $500,000 in compensatory, and $3.5 million in punitive damages by a state Supreme Court jury on Friday during the trial accusing Carol McIlmurray of libeling her through articles and false accusations on her Rockland Post blog and through other social media posts, according to a news release from Trussell-Slutsky's attorneys.

"Ms. Trussell-Slutsky, a mother of two, and community volunteer was bullied for more than 6 months in 2017 via a series of malicious and fictitious online articles written by Carol Mcilmurray and published in the Rockland Post," said the statement.

Feldman said that thousands of people could have heard about the harassment, between McIlmurray's online following and school employees, students and parents.

Attorney Michael S. Feldman, who represented Trussell-Slutsky told the jury in his opening statement that once the vile statements intended to defame Trussell-Slutsky were published on the internet his client was exposed to humiliation, anguish, and suffering.

 “This case is about the defendant’s reckless disregard for the truth and lack of concern about harming innocent people by publishing false accusations," said Feldman, Finkelstein & Partners. "The defendants’ motivation was of the worst kind because she tried to profit by intentionally harming Meredith’s good reputation."

Feldman went on to say that journalists and publishers must be held accountable for their actions. 

Trussell-Slutsky, who has long been active in anti-bullying programs in the Clarkstown schools said she was grateful the six-member jury listened to her.

"They listened to the facts and decided to award a large amount of money to tell these defendants, and bullies in general, that this type of malevolence is not acceptable in our community," she said.

Mcilmurray and her attorney did not comment. 

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