Teacher's defamation case settles four months after trial

David Yates Apr. 19, 2012, 9:30am

In November, a local teacher alleging defamation was awarded a $6,000 verdict against the parents of a child who claimed physical abuse in the classroom.

As previously reported, the trial of Jerri Sharpton vs. Blanca and Eddie Diaz began Nov. 8 and ended two days later with jurors finding in favor of Sharpton.

Court records show that a take-nothing final judgment was entered in the case on March 6, stating that the parties have settled and reached a compromise.

The judgment states that the claims against the defendants are dismissed with prejudice.

Sharpton filed a defamation suit against the Diazes in September 2010, alleging the couple's decision to take their child's story of physical abuse to the media ruined her credibility in the community.

The jury found that both Blanca and Eddie defamed Sharpton per se, according to the charge of the court.

Jurors awarded Sharpton $5,000 for her mental anguish and $1,000 for the damage to her reputation.

Beaumont attorney Ryan Gertz represents Sharpton.

Beaumont attorney John Morgan represents the Diazes.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. A188-375

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