Judge tosses suit against KC paper

State News

July 5, 2019 - 3:01 PM

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A judge threw out a defamation lawsuit filed by Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning against The Kansas City Star over a column criticizing him for opposing Medicaid expansion.

Johnson County District Judge Paul Gurney ruled Tuesday that Denning, an Overland Park Republican, didn’t show that The Star acted with malice in publishing then-contributing writer Steve Rose’s column in January. The judge ordered Denning to pay the newspaper’s legal fees, which Star attorney Bernard Rhodes estimated at $40,000.

Denning alleged that The Star and Rose defamed him because Rose attributed statements against Medicaid expansion to him that he never made. Rose contends the statements came from a 2018 conversation between them, but he resigned as a contributing columnist after Denning’s staff questioned his work.

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