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Zimmerman's lawsuit against Sharpton and NBC


Son of Liberty
Zimmerman's Lawsuit Against Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Martin Family Attorneys - Wausau Legal Education | Examiner.com

I couldn't agree with this more.

The ensuing civil unrest and threats of racial violence caused Zimmerman to go into hiding. There is no doubt that crying racism and murder to a group of self-radicalized Black militants is beyond all bounds of decency. Any White peron accused of killing an unarmed Black child because of racism would be terrified of the mob's reaction. If Zimmerman has been treated by a physician for any kind of emotional trauma caused by Sharpton linking him to a murder that never occured, Sharpton's going to be held responsible.
There is no doubt Sharpton went beyond the standards of decency and has caused Zimmerman, who is in hiding in fear for his life, much emotional distress. To continually call him a murderer AFTER he has been aquitted is slander.

NBC will likely also be found liable to Zimmerman for IIED because a producuer who admittedly altered an audio recording to make it look like Zimmerman harbored racial prejudices against Blacks. The result made all of America believe that George Zimmerman was the most wretched racist on the planet. Again, this sort of behavior is wholly unacceptable in a society that values established due process and the search for the truth. This act, combined with Sharpton's incessant race-baiting no doubt caused Zimmerman intense emotional pain.
NBC is definitely liable for altering the 9-1-1 tape.

The common law elements of defamation are 1) a false statement, 2) about or concerning the plaintiff, 3) communicated to a third person, and 4) damage to the plaintiff's reputation. While it's generally held that defamatory speech is slander and written communications are libel, where the speech is recorded and widely available, the proper claim is libel, which is held to be the more serious of the two as video recordings become permanent because they are ubiquitiously reproduced and shared across the Internet via social networking.Clearly, Al Sharpton repeatedly told people that Trayvon Martin was murdered by a racist and that George Zimmerman should be held responsible. As we are finding out, there was no racially motivated murder here. Sharpton's statements on MSNBC and at the numerous rallies he appeared at were patently false, and they were clearly about George Zimmerman. The damage to George Zimmerman's reputation is grave. He's been branded a racist child murder by Sharpton. He had to quit his job and leave his community because of the damage done to his reputation.
Yep, Sharpton repeatedly referred to Zimmerman as a racist (and those of little critical thinking skills believed it) which has harmed his reputation to this extent it is unrepairable.

While Sharpton's employer, NBC, would normally not be liable for Sharpton's intentional torts, they certainly could be held responsible for his behavior under a negligence theory. If NBC knew, or should've known, that Sharpton's on-air race-baiting and vitriolic conjecture would lead to the destruction of George Zimmerman's reputation, and did nothing to prevent Sharpton from harming Zimmerman, NBC will also be looking at a negligence action.
Yep, it's called Respondeat Superior. As Sharpton's employer they knew or should have known of his behavior and hired him anyway and did nothing to prevent him from saying what he said. Definitely liable.

It was attorney Benjamin Crump who contacted Al Sharpton. Crump called Sharpton after trying to intimidate Sheriff Lee into arresting Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. When Crump realized he wasn't going to be able to bring a wrongful death suit against the city or county (his specialty by the way is suing state and local governments), Crump decided to invent a racial controversy in order to force the Sanford Police Department into a settlement. Benjamin Crump manufactured outrage over a hate crime that was itself manufactured. This is negligence of the worst sort. It's willful.

As an attorney, Benjamin Crump has a duty to adhere to the principles of law. If you don't have a merit-based case, the law holds you have no case. It is malpractice to invent knowingly invent one. The harm caused by Crump's breach of duty is mind-numbing. There were death threats to Zimmerman and his family from militant Black racists. There were retalitory killings of White people. All of this on top of the injury to George Zimmerman. He has lost everything for no other reason than a greedy attorney wanted to shake down the police for money. It's shameful. It's this sort of behavior that gives legal professionals a horrible public image. Thanks a bunch Ben.
I agree, Benjamin Crump gives lawyers a bad name. Not only is he liable for negligence he should be disbarred. Angela Corey should be disbarred as well although I don't think there is a cause of action against her. Grievances with the state bar in Florida should be made so proceedings can start but I don't see the possibility of a civil action against her. Against Crump I do, and grievances should be filed so disbarrment proceedings can commence.


Free Spirit
Staff member
I hope Zimmerman wins, you can't just keep going on the air making false statements about someone that hurts them like this has hurt Zimmerman. I think for NBC to keep allowing Sharpton to do this and editing the 911 tapes is not being a responsible news organization and should be also held accountable for hurting Zimmermans reputation.

I have to wonder if the liability might even stretch further than Zimmerman. Lets say because of the edited tapes and Sharptons remarks that if someone got killed because they decided to riot over these things.


Son of Liberty
I doubt this will go to trial, Sharpton, Crump and NBC will settle and I expect a big payday for Zimmerman. No doubt them falsely and negligently turning this into a race case has caused riots and has harmed other people. I'd like to see some of those people come forward and sue them as well, and it's more ammunition for Crump's disbarment.


Well-Known Member
Al Sharpton had basically condemned George Zimmerman before we had any evidence at all. As far as he was concerned, a black kid was killed and that was enough.

It's really sad that some people revere Al Sharpton as a great leader like Martin Luther King Jr. He does not deserve it. MLK was a man of principle, morals, and decency. Sharpton is nothing like him.

I heard Al Sharpton speaking about this case several times. Every time he's talking about how blacks want equal justice, equal opportunity, George Zimmerman is a murderer, etc. Al Sharpton is nothing more than a racist himself. Ironic that he claims to fight against it.


blue 3
I think C.O is right here. Zimmerman will get an outlandish pay day, go on a vacation for a few years, and possibly just move to another country. I don't know how I feel about the verdict, but I do know that the slander thrown in Zimmerman's face was outrageous. Whether his actions were justified or not, meh, but painting him as the next apartheid is pretty dispicable. I hope they get hit hard.

Al Sharpton is the antithesis of MLK. He's developed not only a career, but riches off of racism. He says he condemns it, but what would GOod ol' Al be without the racism he double-handedly promotes?
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not a plastic bag
Well some people (Ddave) are too young to remember this, but Al Sharpton ruined the careers of more than one NYC police officer in the 80's with the false Tawana Brawley rape charges. I can't recall the details, but I remember several good cops were fired over the lies that Sharpton spread and the protest he lead. That guy deserves to be put in jail and bankrupted. I still reserve judgment on Zimmerman but its getting harder to not like and admire him.


blue 3
Well some people (Ddave) are too young to remember this, but Al Sharpton ruined the careers of more than one NYC police officer in the 80's with the false Tawana Brawley rape charges. I can't recall the details, but I remember several good cops were fired over the lies that Sharpton spread and the protest he lead. That guy deserves to be put in jail and bankrupted. I still reserve judgment on Zimmerman but its getting harder to not like and admire him.
I may not go as far as to like and admire the guy, but I agree with you. Sharpton is a scourge and doesn't belong on this world, unfortunately this hyper-PC culture we have lends itself to being vulnerable to people like him.

Like I said before, I hope zimmerman gets every penny he can.