Elias v. Rolling Stone LLC, No. 16-2465 (2d Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
George Elias, IV, Stephen Hadford, and Ross Fowler appealed the district court's dismissal of their defamation claims against Rolling Stone and others, alleging claims arising from a now-retracted Rolling Stone magazine article titled, "A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA" as well as a subsequent online podcast. The Second Circuit held that the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs' defamation claim arising from the podcast; the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs' claims relating to Hadford individually; with regard to Elias and Fowler, the complaint plausibly alleged that the statements in the article were "of and concerning" them individually; and the complaint plausibly alleged that all plaintiffs were defamed as members of the Phi Kappa Psi under a theory of small group defamation. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on September 22, 2017.