According to the Associated Press, Rolling Stone has finally settled its lawsuit with former University Of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo over the magazine’s discredited 2014 story “A Rape On Campus.” A jury had previously sided in Eramo’s favor back in November, with a judge awarding her $3 million, but Rolling Stone had been trying to convince the judge to overturn that decision because the jury had also determined that the magazine and original writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely had acted with “actual malice” when they added a disclaimer to the online version of original story once its credibility had come under scrutiny.
Basically, the jury’s bizarre take was that Rolling Stone was willfully trying to mislead people into thinking “A Rape On Campus” was true when it reposted the story online, even though the reason the story had been reposted online was so that Rolling Stone could add a note saying that it might not be true. As the Associated Press story points out, the fact that Rolling Stone has now settled means that the original verdict still stands and therefore won’t be examined by an appeals court, setting a precedent that news outlets could be punished for pointing out potential errors in a story rather than immediately pulling it.
Also, this isn’t even the end of the fallout for Rolling Stone, as the UVA branch of the fraternity named in the story—Phi Kappa Psi—is still suing the magazine for $25 million. That one will go to trial in October.