The Washington State Supreme Court has reinstated a $310,000 judgment for a Vietnamese American who says he was defamed when 5 others labeled him a communist, reports Northwest Asian Weekly,
Duc Tan of Olympia, WA sued when he was called a communist, an “undercover agent” of the Viet Cong in several public notices and newsletters.
The Vietnamese American community largely came to the United States when they escaped the communist regime at the end of the Vietnam War and is largely anti-communist.
The lawsuit goes all the way back to 2004. Tan won in 2009, but an appeals court reversed the ruling.
The Washington State high court voted 6-1 with 3 not participating to reinstate the original judgment.
“We hold that the provably false statements made in the Public Notice and in Le’s articles are actionable,” reads the majority opinion, which was written by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen. “We conclude that clear and convincing evidence in this case supports the jury’s finding that the defendants acted with actual malice.”