Daily Cal Editor in Chief Relieved of Charges

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Assistant U.S. Attorney and judge pro tem Mark Cullers released his decision yesterday relieving defendant and The Daily Californian's editor in chief and president, Rajesh Srinivasan, of charges of intentional infliction of emotional distress brought against him by Fresno podiatrist Harvey Purtz.

At the Jan. 19 hearing, Purtz argued that the publication of articles describing former Cal football player Chris Purtz's altercation at a San Francisco adult club was "a major triggering event" in his son's life that led to a deterioration of his mental state and to emotional distress on his father's part. However, the court ruled that libel on the memory of a deceased person is not deemed to inflict legal action constituting defamation on surviving relatives.

The court also noted that the Uniform Single Publication Act - which states that the statute of limitations on a publication is determined upon its first distribution to the public - and the maximum two-year statute of limitations for emotional distress claims worked against Purtz's claim.

While the court duly noted the pain and suffering endured by the loss of Purtz's son and the issue of the Internet's ability to perpetually circulate information, Cullers ruled that Srinivasan owed Purtz no money as a result of the case.

"I'm pleased that the court made the right decision," Srinivasan said. "While I'm open to talking to (Purtz) in the future, I anticipate the decision will be the same. Nevertheless, I sympathize with Mr. Purtz."


True Shields is the lead courts reporter. Contact him at [email protected]



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