Joe Bankston and Gena Charlton’s lives and property were turned upside down after psychic Presley “Rhonda” Gridley informed police in Liberty County she believed there to be a mass grave on the couple’s property in 2011.
As police began their investigation of Gridley’s claim, media outlets received the plaintiff’s address from the sheriff’s office and began reporting from the couple’s home. As the investigation continued, some new outlet’s claimed the grave existed, while others fabricated facts. Media reports based on false claims circulated worldwide, exposing Bankston and Charlton to public hatred, contempt, ridicule and financial injury.
Judge Carl Ginsberg in the 193rd State District Court awarded $3 million in damages to Bankston and $3,849,000 to Charlton, plus 5% interest from the date of occurrence in 2011. Now Dallas personal injury attorney, Andrew Sommerman, who represented the plaintiffs will need to identify whether the damages are collectible.
For more information about the case, read the Houston Chronicle online.