Saturday, April 07, 2012

Jury orders Iowa Democratic Party, candidate to pay in negative ad lawsuit

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP)A jury has awarded Sioux City Republican Sen. Rick Bertrand $231,000 in damages in a defamation lawsuit over a negative television ad in the 2010 election.

The Sioux City Journal says the Woodbury County jury awarded the damages late Friday.

Bertrand filed the lawsuit in October 2010 against his Democratic opponent, Rick Mullin, and the Iowa Democratic Party. Bertrand claimed he was defamed by a campaign ad that argued Bertrand "put profits ahead of children's health."

The Iowa Democratic Party paid for the ad, which was approved by Mullin. Jurors, who deliberated for more than four hours, ordered Mullin to pay $31,000 and the Democratic Party $200,000.

Bertrand declined to comment after the verdict was read. Mullin also had no comment.

Bertrand defeated Mullin by 286 votes.

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