Michael Mann Wins $1 Million Verdict In Defamation Trial

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 “Michael Mann Wins $1 Million Verdict In Defamation Trial

Victory over climate deniers sends a strong message in defense of climate science and scientists.


Michael Mann Wins  Million Verdict In Defamation Trial
Professor Michael E. Mann’s lawyer called attacks on the scientist “vile.” Credit: Julian Meehan/Flickr
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“In a victory for climate scientists, jurors in Michael Mann’s defamation case against Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn awarded Mann $1 million in punitive damages for defamatory comments made in 2012.

In a unanimous decision, jurors agreed that both Simberg and Steyn defamed Mann
in blog posts that compared Mann to convicted sex offender Jerry
Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State University. They
announced that Simberg will pay $1,000 in punitive damages and Steyn
will pay the larger $1 million.

Standing in front of the courthouse smiling with his legal team after
the verdict was read, Mann told DeSmog that he trusted the jury to see
through the “smoke and mirrors” that the defense used during the trial.

“One million dollars in punitive damages makes a statement,” he said
in an exclusive interview. “This is about the defense of science against
scurrilous attacks, and dishonest efforts to undermine scientists who
are just trying to do our job.”

Mann also noted that the trial was about defamatory statements made
in an effort to discredit scientists “whose findings might prove
inconvenient to certain ideologically driven individuals and outlets.”

“It’s about the integrity of the science and making sure that bad
actors aren’t allowed to make false and defamatory statements about
scientists in their effort to advance an agenda,” he added.

Peter Fontaine, one of Mann’s lawyers, told DeSmog he was “thrilled with the outcome.””