Alvarado wins $200k in defamation suit against former Sen. R.J. Palmer

12/21/2016 10:34 PM

After years of legal wrangling Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, has won a lawsuit against his former political rival Sen. R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester, relating to a campaign ad the former Senate Minority Leader ran against his opponent.

Alvarado filed a defamation suit itwo years ago n Clark County against Palmer, who via a television commercial first reported by Pure Politics in 2014, essentially cast Alvarado as a drug dealer.

Christopher Hunt, who along with David Royse, represented Alvarado in the defamation and false light suit, told Pure Politics on Wednesday evening they had won their legal challenge with unanimous verdicts. A jury awarded Alvarado $200,000 in the case.

The jury awarded $125,000 in compensatory and $75,000 punitive damages, according to Hunt.

“I am very pleased with the unanimous verdict issued by the jury in Clark County Circuit Court,” Alvarado told Pure Politics in a statement Wednesday evening. “I hope this verdict sends a clear warning to all politicians to conduct campaigns with civility and truth moving forward.”

Palmer did not immediately return a request for comment; the former Democratic politician could bring an appeal to the verdict if he chooses.

The ad which sparked the case, used courtroom video from 2010 carefully spliced together to cast Alvarado, who unsuccessfully challenged the Senate Democratic floor leader for the seat in 2010, in a negative light.

In the 30-second advertisement, a defendant addresses a judge in a Montgomery County courtroom in November of 2010 on a drug charge. The ad cuts to a back and forth between the defendant who was arrested for attempting to traffic $3,000 worth of prescription pills.

The original court complaint cited falsehoods in the ad including “deliberately editing video to change the context ad facts involved and also by deliberately ignoring easily-obtainable facts that would disprove the claims made in the advertisement in question.”

Earlier this year, Alvarado settled a defamation suit brought against Democratic political consultant Dale Emmons, who signed a public apology letter, the settlement also reportedly contained financial provisions, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News or anytime with Spectrum On Demand.Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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