Kansas woman awarded $1 million from 96.5 The Buzz - KCTV5 News


Kansas woman awarded $1 million from 96.5 The Buzz

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV/AP) - A University of Kansas college student has been awarded $1 million in damages after a metro radio station falsely identified her as a porn star.

Ashley Patton of Olathe, KS, sued the owner of 96.5 The Buzz radio station and two of its DJs after the jockeys on Afentra's Big Fat Morning Buzz program identified her on an April 2012 morning show as a porn star.

It was two years ago when the morning show hosts began talking about whether there were any local porn stars. A flurry of texts started coming in with names, including that of Patton, a 2007 graduate of Olathe South High School.

"As the names were texted into the station and received by Afentra and Danny Boi, they read the names over the air," the lawsuit explained, followed with comments like, "not my type, she bleeped my boss."

Patton's lawyer says the DJs' only screening was to Google, "Ashley Patton porn." Google corrected them, he says, and asked, "Did you mean Ashley Payton porn?"

Still they read her name and school on the air and she was added to a list of names the station posted on its website, which also had a link to the podcast of the show.

Both sides agreed that Patton was not, and never had been, involved in the pornography industry.

The jury's million-dollar judgement was a combination of reward and punishment.

The week-long federal trial ended Friday with jurors awarding Patton $250,000 in actual damages for her suffering: sleeplessness, humiliation and insult.

The jury awarded her $750,000 in punitive damages, as a matter of punishing the Buzz's parent company, Entercom, to prevent something like that from happening again.

Patton's lawyer says the company agreed while the jury was deliberating that the verdict won't be appealed.

The station issued a statement saying it was "very disappointed" in the outcome but will abide by the verdict.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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