Lawyer ordered to pay $4.5M to gay U-M student

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A jury has found in favor of a gay University of Michigan student body president in his lawsuit against a former Michigan assistant attorney general.

Christopher Armstrong's attorney Deborah Gordon says a jury in U.S. District court awarded her client $4.5 million Thursday in his case against Andrew Shirvell. Armstrong accused Shirvell of defamation and causing the student emotional distress on an anti-gay blog, in Facebook posts and during visits to the Ann Arbor campus.

Then-Attorney General Mike Cox fired Shirvell in 2010 after he criticized Armstrong. Shirvell says he was acting within his First Amendment rights and that his statements were either true or protected because of Armstrong's role as a public figure.

Armstrong has offered to drop the suit if Shirvell apologized.

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