(Photo credit: CoolValley)Almost a year after being terminated allegedly for multiple verbatim use of press releases in his writings without attribution, former Kansas City Star Metro columnist Steve Penn, 54, has sued the McClatchy Co.-owned daily for defamation, the Star reports.
Penn, a 31-year Star veteran who had written a Metro column since 2000, alleges in his complaint filed in Jackson County Circuit Court that reproducing press release content in articles without crediting the source was widespread, common practice at the daily. He alleges he was defamed by the Star and seeks $25,000 compensatory damages and punitive damages.
His former employer cited a dozen instances in which Penn purportedly used press release text without attribution. (See "TUOL" post 7/14/11.) The litigation is scheduled for mediation and a November hearing before Judge Ann Mesle, according to a Star article.