NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived part of a lawsuit by three University of Virginia graduates who accused Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher Wenner Media and a journalist of defamation over a now-retracted article describing a gang rape.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said plaintiffs George Elias IV, Ross Fowler and Stephen Hadford plausibly alleged that they were defamed in their capacity as members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and that Elias and Fowler could pursue similar claims as individuals.
Tuesday’s decision also upheld the June 2016 dismissal of other claims.
The November 2014 article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, “A Rape on Campus,” described a September 2012 rape of a female student named Jackie at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. Rolling Stone retracted the article five months later.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Bill Trott