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Libel suit filed against Herald-Mail

May 16, 1997

By LAURA ERNDE

Staff Writer

A Hagerstown woman is suing The Herald-Mail Co., alleging the newspaper revealed private information about her and her child in a Mother's Day story the newspaper published last year.

The woman accuses the newspaper of publishing the story without her consent, according to the lawsuit filed this month in Washington County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit alleges that the story contained false information.

The woman accuses the newspaper of defamation, invasion of privacy and injurious falsehood, the suit says.

The story, published May 12, 1996, implied that the woman was incapable of taking care of her child, incompetent and immoral, the suit alleges.

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It accuses the newspaper of making those claims with the intent to harm the woman.

As a result, the woman was embarrassed, humiliated and subjected to public scorn, the lawsuit says.

Since the story, the woman has lost income and her reputation in the community, the lawsuit says.

She has suffered severe emotional distress, the lawsuit says.

"The defendant's conduct in publishing the aforementioned article under the circumstances was extreme and outrageous," the suit says.

The lawsuit names the newspaper's owner, James M. Schurz, as defendant.

It asks for $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages.

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