Derek Daly amends lawsuit, removes request for $25M in damages

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Former racer Derek Daly has amended the defamation lawsuit he filed last week against WISH-TV Channel 8 and the station’s parent company, and removed his request for damages of more than $25 million.

“We tightened up the legal pleadings and added a few counts including interference with business,” Daly’s attorney, Tim Stoesz, told IBJ on Tuesday. “There was no real reason to take [the $25 million amount] out other than the formality of the pleading.”

The lawsuit now requests no specific amount for damages. Whether or not a lawsuit asks for a specific amount in damages won't change how much could be awarded and how that is determined. The amount is either determined by the two sides in a settlement or by a jury if the case goes to trial—regardless how much is requested in the original lawsuit.

Stoesz explained that "interference with business" language essentially means that by its negligent actions, WISH-TV has interfered with Daly's ability to conduct business as a public speaker, among other roles.

Daly, a retired race car driver and former motorsports broadcaster, on Feb. 7 filed a defamation lawsuit in Hamilton County against his former employer, WISH-TV Channel 8, and its parent company, Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Media Group Inc. The suit claims WISH made false statements about Daly on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23 in online and broadcast stories related to racially charged comments former Indianapolis Colts announcer Bob Lamey allegedly made off the air.

Daly discussed details of the case last week in a podcast with IBJ.

Some legal experts, including Hoosier State Press Association executive director and general counsel Steve Key, said Daly will have an uphill battle in the case.

Stoesz remains undaunted.

“We are pretty sure everyone already knows the facts of this case,” Stoesz said. “While some may believe it is difficult to prove defamation, we are ready to have a Hamilton County jury make that decision. We are ready anytime.”

WISH-TV and Nexstar officials declined to comment on Daly's lawsuit last week and couldn't be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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