Iowa lawmaker seeks punitive damages, too


April 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Both sides say they intend to appeal a jury’s decision that a television campaign ad by Democrats libeled and slandered Sioux City Republican Sen. Rick Bertrand during the 2010 campaign. A Woodbury County jury last week awarded Bertrand $231,000 in damages in his lawsuit against his Democratic opponent, Rick Mullin, and the Iowa Democratic Party. Bertrand claimed he was defamed by an ad that said he “put profits ahead of children’s health” when he was a sales agent for a drug company. The party paid for the ad, which was approved by Mullin. Both sides plan to appeal — Bertrand because he disagrees with the judge’s decision that he can’t pursue punitive damages and Democrats because they disagree with the verdict.