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Boston Rocker Tom Scholz Appeals to SC on Landmark Defamation Case

How can you ever know why someone commits suicide? That is the question at the heart of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's ruling in November that the Boston Herald did not commit defamation when the Herald's Inside Track gossip column pointed blame at Boston founder Tom Scholz for bandmate Brad Delp's suicide in 2007.
However, the Boston Herald is now reporting that Scholz is appealing the SJC decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeal's chances appear vanishingly small.
The SJC opinion was a landmark analysis of the extent of defamation. Defamation is not just the mean or unfair assertion of an opinion - it requires the publication of a false statement of fact.  And since it is very difficult to ever know exactly why someone kills themself, blame for their suicide really just amounts to an opinion, the SJC ruled.  A reader was even more likely to have read the Inside Track section of the Herald as opinion because it is an entertainment page, not a straight news page, the court said. 
The opinion showed that Massachusetts courts will take a very narrow view on what is fact.  If it can be construed as opinion, the courts will likely do so.
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