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Cohalan v. New York Press Co.

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division

December 29, 1911

JOHN P. COHALAN, Respondent,
v.
THE NEW YORK PRESS COMPANY, LIMITED, Appellant.

APPEAL by the defendant, The New York Press Company, Limited, from a judgment of the Supreme Court in favor of the plaintiff, entered in the office of the clerk of the county of New York on the 6th day of March, 1911, upon the verdict of a jury for $10,000, and also from an order entered in said clerk's office on the 30th day of March, 1911, denying the defendant's motion for a new trial made upon the minutes.

COUNSEL

Philip Carpenter [Frank Parker Ufford with him on the brief], for the appellant.

William McArthur [Mirabeau L. Towns with him on the brief], for the respondent.

SCOTT, J.:

I agree that there was error committed in the particulars pointed out by Mr. Justice LAUGHLIN; but that error went only to the measure of damages and in view of the nature of the article and the amount of the verdict, I do not think it can fairly be said that it really increased the damages; since the article was one as to which the jury would have been justified in awarding a sum equal to the verdict without including punitive damages.

I think, therefore, that the error was one which we can

Page 90

overlook and that the judgment and order appealed from should be affirmed, with costs.

MILLER and DOWLING, JJ., concurred; INGRAHAM, P. J., and LAUGHLIN, J., dissented.

LAUGHLIN, J. (dissenting):

The action is brought to recover damages alleged to have been sustained by plaintiff in consequence of a publication by defendant in the New York Press, a daily newspaper printed and circulated by it in New York and elsewhere, on the 4th day of May, 1907, in its editorial columns. The article was as follows:

'TAMMANY AT ALBANY.

'An indication that the peace pact in Tammany was part of a corrupt deal of the Murphy crowd, the McCarren crowd and the criminal element of the Republican Party in the Legislature to save Kelsey for the Insurance Ring, kill the Mayoralty Recount Bill and assassinate the Public Service measure by an unholy alliance, was furnished by the shift on Thursday night of two democrats who had announced that they were so committed to serving the interests of the public that they would support Governor Hughes. These two men were Ackroyd and Cohalan. Sneaking into the corporation lines at the last minute they gave McCarren, captain of the Raines renegades and commander-in-chief of the whole forces against the people, a solid democratic following in the Senate, with the exception of the scrupulously faithful democratic public servants, Senators Fuller and Taylor.

'In this passing glance at the mongrel combination against the welfare of the people of New York it is not untimely to remark that the earlier reports of Cohalan as a legislative pup suggested that he might develop into a fine, big, almost noble mastiff; whereas, full grown, he actually appears at the Senate Dog Show a measly little Mexican Hairless ...

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