Lawsuit Against Kathy Griffin By Covington Catholic Students Dismissed

Comedian Kathy Griffin
Comedian Kathy Griffin

A lawsuit filed against comedian Kathy Griffin by a group of students from Covington Catholic in Kentucky has been dismissed (again) by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

I’m sure you remember the sad tale of the Covington students who were involved in a standoff with a group of Native Americans in Washington D.C. on January 18, 2019.

Video footage of student Nick Sandmann, wearing a red MAGA hat standing face to face with Native American elder Nathan Phillips, went viral as the young student was viewed by many as being disrespectful to the Native American elder.

Sandmann later said he was trying to “defuse” the situation by standing still and “remaining calm.”

In the aftermath, Sandmann and his family sought to cash in on what they believed was his victimhood in the situation calling out media outlets for defaming and vilifying him.

Sandmann sued and eventually settled with CNN and the Washington Post.

The group of students in this case alleged harm by Griffin when she tweeted, “Names please, and stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you.”

“Maybe you should let this fine Catholic school know how you feel about their students (sic) behavior toward the Vietnam veteran, Native American #NathanPhillips,” she said in a follow-up tweet.

But the Cincinnati Enquirer reports the 6th U.S. Circuit Court ruled on Tuesday that Covington Catholic students cannot bring harassment claims against Griffin.

U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman had granted a request from Griffin to dismiss the case but the students appealed that decision to the 6th Circuit.

Bertelsman also dismissed the students’ defamation and harassment lawsuits against CNN, the Washington Post and NBC.

A three-judge panel at the 6th Circuit upheld Bertelsman’s ruling saying the ‘Kentucky longarm statute’ being cited in the cases had no jurisdiction regarding Griffin since she hadn’t “committed any act ‘in [the] Commonwealth’ of Kentucky.”

Circuit Judge Julia Gibbons wrote in the decision, “To satisfy that provision of the longarm statute, the ’cause of action must arise from defendant’s activities’ in Kentucky.”

Additionally, the panel found, “there is no evidence that the defendants posted the tweets hoping to reach Kentucky specifically as opposed to their Twitter followers generally.”


(h/t to TRR reader Rusty)