Former Congressional Candidate Can't Sue HuffPost For Calling Him An Arsonist

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A former congressional candidate dubbed an arsonist by the Huffington Post can’t sue the news outlet because he waited too long to bring his case before the court.When Jack Shepard ran for the Republican nomination in Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District in 2010, HuffPost ran an article with the headline “Support Jack Shepard, the Arsonist, for Congress,” Courthouse News Service reported Tuesday.

But in his complaint, Shepard claims he was never actually convicted of arson and is completely innocent of the charge from 1982.

The article, which was published in 2010, calls Shepard “the fugitive-from-justice” and reports “he’s cloistered in Italy — where he’s lammed it, because of the whole criminal record thing.”

That article not only ruined Shephard’s Italian dentist practice but made it impossible for him to ever get a fair trial because “millions of people believe the Huffington Post as a credible source of information and people will believe by viewing the headline that I am a convicted arsonist,” he claimed in his complaint.

He also claimed that because the article was updated after its 2010 publication date, the statute of limitations hasn’t run out.

But U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson didn’t agree.

 “Contrary to his assertions, however, the content of the article does not appear to have changed,” he ruled, according to CNS. “Instead the ‘new’ articles cited by Shepard appear to be hyperlinks to the original article, which do not restart the statute of limitations”

He also dismissed Shepard’s claims that Arianna Huffington’s news outlet libeled him because “three of the four allegedly defamatory statements are not actionable because they are either true or permissible hyperbole.”

Magnuson threw out Shepard’s case.

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