Woman sues for defamation over Facebook post and hopes $500K settlement spares others pain
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) —
An Asheville woman scored a half million dollar court settlement over a Facebook post and hopes her defamation lawsuit prompts people to watch what they say on social media.
Dayvyne Dial said the tip of the insulting iceberg was an eight word post insinuating she had something to do with her son's death.
"The others were venal and hate filled,” she says of posts that fueled the lawsuit. “But this crossed the line. "
We call it social media, but Dial said, too often, it's just a platform to inflict pain.
"And it was the culmination of a nine-month smear campaign," the GM of Asheville radio station WPVM said.
She claims she was blasted by Jacquelyne Hammond over something that became way too personal.
"The transfer of an FCC license to a nonprofit," she explained. "That lead up to this final engagement here."
In November 2015, she got wind of a Facebook post she said couldn't be further from the truth.
She obtained a screen capture of an exchange in which Hammond posted, "I didn't get drunk and kill my kid."
"That crosses the line into the sacred, you don't go there," Dial said on the verge of tears.
Hammond’s eight words left a grieving mother in shock.
"Just like any parent, he was a very loved little boy," she said, her eyes welling up.
Donnie was just 11 in 1976.
"He and another boy had gotten a hold of a loaded gun and it fired, ricocheted off a wall,” she said. “And hit him in the head and he was killed immediately."
Dial contended that Hammond's post was defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
"This had really crossed the line into something that was just unforgivable," she said.
As part of the agreement, Hammond signed a statement.
"I have engaged in a long running smear campaign," it begins.
Now Dial hopes a bigger statement comes with the case.
"I think the warning was out there to other people who have been victim to these cyber stonings,” she said, “that if it's not true, you may not be able to get away with it."