IA Supreme Court justices will hear an appeal of award in a defa - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

IA Supreme Court justices will hear an appeal of award in a defamation suit brought by Sioux City Senator

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - Thursday afternoon the Iowa Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case from Sioux City that has far-reaching implications in Iowa politics.

The justices will hear an appeal from both sides in a 2012 jury award in a defamation lawsuit filed by Republican State Senator Rick Bertrand.

In 2010, the Iowa Democratic Party ran this TV ad attacking then-candidate Bertrand on behalf of his opponent Rick Mullin, who had approved the commercial.

The ad claimed that while Bertrand was working as a sales agent for a drug company, he "put profits ahead of children's health".

The ad also stated that Bertrand's company was singled out by the FDA for marketing dangerous sleep drugs for children.

Bertrand sued for libel and slander and he won.

A jury awarded him $231,000 in defamation damages, but wasn't allowed to award punitive damages in the case.

Bertrand appealed that aspect of the verdict.

Democrats appealed the verdict itself.

KTIV's Kristen Johnson will be in the courtroom in Des Moines for Thursday's hearing and will bring us the story on News Four.

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