Ted Frank (Overlawyered) Fact-Checks a Newspaper Article About a Large Tort Verdict,

and seems to find vast and important omissions (and some errors). Here's part of Ted's conclusion:

[I]n this case a complainant did win a small fortune after abusing a lawn mower in an extensively negligent way (if not as colorfully as the fictional hedge-trimmer), yet the story is sold to the public with barely a hint of that negligence as a tale of a "defective mower". It is far more common for a reporter to parrot a plaintiffs' attorney's fictional version of a case than to be fooled by a circulating e-mail account of fictional wacky lawsuits, but somehow the media is more likely to engage in soul-searching over the latter. This is just the story of one case I managed to fact-check with the assistance of about $10 in PACER searches. How many other media reports of lawsuits would yield similar surprises?

Here's the coda: it took me less than an hour of digging to find most of this out (including the name of the case as filed). I did not see any evidence in the piece that the reporter had even contacted the defense attorney for comment, even though the story was a lengthy feature piece, rather than a one-paragraph barebones summary.