Laughman v. Selmeier, No. A02-08401 (Ohio C.P., Hamilton County jury verdict Feb. 23, 2003).
Status: $1,125,000 award to plaintiff

Joel Selmeier created a web site ( which alleged that he had been sexually assaulted by a surgical nurse and physically assaulted by a doctor during a 1996 hernia operation at Mercy Hospital Anderson in Cincinnati, Ohio. Police did not find the claims credible, and Selmeier’s apparent suit against the doctor was dismissed (Selmeier v. Kirkpatrick, No. 01-8202 (Ohio C.P. summary judgment granted Aug. 6, 2003), aff’d, No. C-030624 (Ohio App., 1st Dist. March 17, 2004)). The doctor, nurse and hospital sued for defamation In February 2002 the plaintiffs obtained a court order sealing the case and ordering Selmeier to take down his site, but this was reversed the following month. The nurse’s case went to trial in Feb. 2004, and resulted in an award of $375,000 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitives.

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