Andrew Shirvell Ordered To Pay Chris Armstrong $4.5 Million

Chris_ArmstrongA jury today said that former Michigan assistant district attorney Andrew Shirvell must pay Chris Armstrong (pictured) $4.5 million for 2010 blog posts that attacked Armstrong and his alleged "homosexual agenda" during Armstrong's tenure as student body president for University of Michigan.

ABC News offers more details:

Christopher Armstrong's attorney Deborah Gordon says a jury in U.S. District Court ruled in favor of her client Thursday.

Armstrong accused Andrew Shirvell of defamation and causing him emotional distress on an anti-gay blog, in Facebook posts and during visits to the Ann Arbor campus.

Armstrong had offered to drop the lawsuit if Shirvell apologized.

Armstrong's suit also only asked for $25,000. Mr. Shirvell sure could have saved a lot of trouble and money if he had just offered some contrition instead of rattling on about "radical homosexual agendas" and how his blogs were a one-man "movement" to oust Armstrong.

Comments

  1. Jonathan says

    Andrew Shirvell will never pay 4.5 mllion. He’s been rendered mostly unemployable and some douchbag Christian organization probably picked him up. All he needed to do was say “I’m sorry”. Shirvell is the gayest thing since the rainbow flag. What a hot mess he is.

  2. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    I’ve watched Jason’s postings for a good while now. He and Rick seem to get sicker and sicker as time goes by. Amazes me how full of hate for gay people some “out” gay people are.

  3. says

    Andrew Shirvell isn’t the only homophobic “straight man” obsessed with gays. I’m convinced a few of the commentators on various gay sites are straight people acting stupid to either irritate us or discredit us.

  4. jason says

    I don’t see how Chris Armstrong was defamed. Criticized, yes. Defamed, no. How is it defamatory to accuse someone of spreading a “homosexual agenda”? I’m not getting this.

  5. andrew says

    Besides being a first class bigot, Shirvell sure is one big dumb A$$. Chris Armstrong, enjoy the money, at least what is left after the greedy lawyers take their huge cut. Terrorists, bigots and lawyers are my least favorite people.

  6. PAUL B. says

    Congrats to Christopher !! Isn’t it great when the system works to punish bad behavior? Gotta love it. I’m sure shrivell has no money left…and no job either…but winning is such a woody in itself.
    Can you say…shrivell up?

  7. Jed says

    @jason the legal definition of defamation encompasses “any intentional false communication… that harm’s a person’s reputation…”. the operational word is “false”.

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/defamation

    among other assertions made by shirvell that were found to be false in a court of law as judged by a jury of his peers, shirvell asserted that armstrong held a “gay rush party” to “liquor up underage freshmen” and recruit them “to the homosexual lifestyle”.

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/u-m-student-body-president-files-lawsuit-against-former-state-assistant-attorney-general/#.UC2IHWt5mK0

  8. Caliban says

    Shirvell called Armstrong a “Nazi,” “Satan’s Representative at UofM,” accused him of enticing underaged students to drink alcohol, and trying to seduce other males into the “homosexual lifestyle.” Those last two are not opinions but specific accusations or wrongdoing, and supplying alcohol to minors is illegal so Shirvell accused him a crime.

    I don’t expect the monetary damages will stand but it’s good the jury slapped the little toad down. You’d think at some point Shirvell would realize how far out of line his actions were, but I don’t think he’s capable of that much insight.

  9. MateoM says

    Do you guys understand how trolls work? They leave some outrageous comment “spark” which ignites the comments section into a rant that has nothing to do with the original article. Stop falling for it and just ignore Jason/Rick/Ratbastard.

    If you don’t feed the obvious trolls they’ll starve.

  10. MateoM says

    Do you guys understand how trolls work? They leave some outrageous comment “spark” which ignites the comments section into a rant that has nothing to do with the original article. Stop falling for it and just ignore Jason/Rick/Ratbastard.

    If you don’t feed the obvious trolls they’ll starve.

  11. GregV says

    @Jason: The half-sentence you cited has virtually nothing to do with the case. Your comment does remind me of how the right-wing media (based on their history) are likley to falsely frame this (just as the FRC pretends that it has been called a hate group because they “support traditional marriage.”)
    At this link, you can read the full complaint against Shirvill’s creepy behavior, but it is far too long and far-ranging to be summed up in even a few paragraphs:

    http://www.annarbor.com/Filed%20Complaint%20%26%20Jury%20Demand.pdf

  12. G.I. Joe says

    I’m glad he was condemned, but isn’t 4.5 million a bit much for this type of affair??

    It doesn’t seem right to me, like there’s something behind this that I can’t understand.

  13. woodroad34 says

    Ha, haha, hahaha. Shrivelled Shirvell. he may not be able to pay, but the judgement will hurt his credit–he won’t be able to get a loan for a house, car, or to start a new business. His credit cards may also be affected. I truly believe that he’s mentally ill and amoral

  14. Continuum says

    Given that the slimne bag has nothing close to $4.5 million, the jury’s verdict is symbolic. But, a victory never the less.

    Now, if only the haters at NOM had gotten hit with $4.5 million fine for the flaunting of campaign contribution laws. Instead, NOM who has the money got fined only $49,0000.

  15. JED says

    @g.i.joe i don’t like these seven-digit judgments in successful defamation cases either (not just in this particular case). i personally find them disproportionate as well. unfortunately these figures are not unusual, there is a mountain of precedents. I guess that could be why the umbrella insurance industry is flourishing.

  16. andrew says

    @Alejo: Add Little Kiwi to the list. He is one of the mean spirited bomb throwers. He accuses all who disagree with him as having no testicles or being self loathing homosexuals who will die alone. He believes like Benedict XVI, that he is infallible.

  17. MateoM says

    Andrew: Kiwi does often go a bit too far, but most of the time he’s right on. He keeps the Jason/Rick/Ratbastards of this site in check more than any other commenter and I commend him for that.

  18. LiamB says

    @Jason – well, considering you have yet to actually offer any challenges, that seems a bit far fetched. All you have actually given is a pretty clear show that you have no clue what the First Amendment actually covers. Do yourself a favor, and try educating yourself.

  19. J. Leo says

    @ Jason – It seems that you , like so many in this country need to look up the differences between freedom of speech and liable/slander. People can and are sued everyday for the latter. And justly so, just as in this case.

  20. Bingo says

    Re free speech. The consititional guarantee of free speech only restricts the government from restricting free speech. It has nothing at all to do with this case. No govt rules were involved.

    Know your rights!

  21. jason says

    I’ve been called a Nazi, a murderer, a retard and a troll. I don’t go crying to the courts demanding compensation for my hurt feelings or the tarnishing of my reputation.

  22. MJ says

    @JASON: different when you are anonymous on a comments section. This guy set up a website and made accusations specifically naming this guy that were false and damaging to this his reputation. He also stalked him apparently. This coming from an assistant attorney general who should know better! All he had to do was apologize, he didn’t and now he pays the piper.

  23. MaddM@ says

    Yay good job at starting to not feed the trolls ppl

    I personally think this settlement is a little sad, Shirvell obviously has some serious psychiatric issues that need to be addressed, unfortunately he will probably be used as a martyr by the “religious right” /fox news et al. It’s unfortunate no one will talk about how Armstrong was very generous to offer to drop the lawsuit if Shirvell apologized, and will be spun as this is the beginning of our soulless liberal queer overlords QQ

    Someone will undoubtedly use this as evidence of free speech violation/attack on religious freedom…….some people in this country I swear…..

  24. Mike says

    That is the way to do it, sue all of the antigay Christian haters and make them pay millions and then use the money to fight for equal rights and freedom for all LGBT people.

  25. Caliban says

    You’ve been called a Nazi, Jason? What a shame. Maybe if you stop relying on rhetorical tricks straight out of the Joseph Goebbels handbook it wouldn’t happen again.

    Have you been accused of giving alcohol to minors? Because if it not true that’s libel. Have you been accused of seducing young, impressionable youth, trying to “make them gay”? Because that’s a very specific accusation to make, also libelous. Have any of the people who called you a Nazi stalked you, followed you around, waited outside your house late at night and reported your movements on their blog about you? Stalking is a crime. Have they written about everything you do in the most negative light possible, accused you of “satanic” intentions and influence? I seriously doubt it, however sad and repellant your actual life may be.

    But of course you’ve ignored all those events, focusing only on the low-hanging fruit, the Nazi accusation. Step up your game, Jason, that’s just Jr High level trolling, too easy to see through.

  26. BobN says

    Jason, why don’t you write to Shirvell and offer to be the object of his next obsession. After a few months, get back to us on whether it’s a problem or not.

  27. KC says

    Amazing that Shirvell’s supervisor at the time, Michigan state AG Mike Cox, supported and defended Shirvell until to near the very end, yet walked away not owning one bit of it. Watch him stumble through his support of Shirvell and condescending treatment of Shirvell’s detractors here:

  28. Paul R says

    I used to enjoy this site. I found the comments to often be insightful or amusing. Now it’s become an endless inane clustering and blustering of crap about Jason/Rick/RatBastard. Tank was driven away a couple years ago because he was so obnoxious. Not so this time. It’s not entertaining, engaging, or productive.

    I would hope that Andy blocks all comments from this clown and his IP addresses, because apparently many people cannot resist responding to his idiocy and making this site a travesty. This is the last post I’ll ever make, which won’t be a great shame to anyone. But it’s a waste of a good site.

  29. says

    I want to again apologize for being such a shallow and mean spirited little queen that at every opportunity I have to reveal to people here just how shallow, nasty, ignorant, and intolerant I am of other gay men that don’t put on the same fake affectations and childish tirades I pass off as “being a gay man”.

    I hate myself SO much I just can’t stand it when someone has any opinion that doesn’t support my perpetual need for attention.

  30. ThomT says

    “Free” speech comes with responsibility and, quite often consequences. No one was denied the right to speak however, they were held accountable for the intent and accuracy of what they said. That said,Anderson will never see anything close to $4.5 million either as a result of a further court ruling or the plain and simple fact that Shivell not only doesn’t have the abilty to pay it his legal issues are probably not improving his employment chances.

  31. says

    I’d like to know how Shirvell’s whole obsession began. Did he find out about Armstrong via some alumni newsletter? Was he trolling around his former campus regularly enough to notice, um, students on face-to-face basis? He’s a bunny-boiler, for sure.

    Truthfully, I hope he gets some legit psychological counseling out of this. These are not the actions of a mentally-healthy adult.

    But hey, this is one of those things that (alas) happens when one is visible as a member of our cummunity – we become targets of crazy people.

    Whether it’s the online trolls with no testicles who obsess over the “online people” that they can put a face and name to, to the cowards in the closet who obsess with openly-gay individuals – it’s all about distractions from their own miserable existences.

    The Good News – the life trolls are destined for misery. No matter how much mud they attempt to sling, the only people who actually get dirty are themselves.

  32. anon says

    AS may need counseling. He seems obsessed with CA. Too bad you can’t order a psych evaluation in a civil case. To understand libel here, you need to know the distinction between public and non-public persons. CA was not a public person, which generally means, someone people know about before the libel was committed and therefore has already made a first impression. The standards for libel against a public person are much higher because the courts assume the libel would be much harder to believe. So, CA had an easier case than you might think. Now, in general, in a civil case, you can’t expect to win more than any pre-trial “deal” to settle, so the 4.5 million will probably be reduced. I suppose it was clever to ask for an apology, as it has no direct cash equivalent, but they filed for $25K, so I guess that’s where this is headed.

    AS would seem useless to conservative groups, largely because he is so focused on one individual. Who really wants to hear how CA is spreading the homosexual agenda? Right now, only the speaker. So, no, I don’t think he has a future as a conservative spokesperson.

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