Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Doctor files libel suit against Times Publishing Co.

TAMPA — A Tampa physician has filed a libel suit against the Tampa Bay Times and its parent company over newspaper stories and a headline about her arrest on drug charges.

In a suit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court on April 9, Tampa doctor Christina Paylan, 45, accused the Times Publishing Co. and two of its employees of producing stories that "created news instead of reporting the news" and of using her photo without authorization.

The suit, which Paylan filed on her own without a lawyer, said the Times "publicly assassinated" Paylan in stories published in the Times and its free tabloid newspaper, tbt*, in 2011 and 2012. The suit said the stories contained false information, material omissions and misrepresentations.

Paylan was director of Cosmetic Surgery of Tampa Bay at 3230 W Kennedy Blvd. at the time of her arrest.

In addition, Paylan said the headline "Dr. Demerol" published on the front page of tbt* was used "out of ill will and malice towards Dr. Paylan and for the sole purpose of ruining her reputation in the medical community."

Alison Steele, attorney for Times Publishing, said the newspaper stood by its stories.

"We think the suit is totally without merit," Steele said. "The Times will vigorously defend" itself.

In June 2011, authorities accused Paylan of illegally possessing Demerol, an addictive narcotic similar to morphine, for personal use. Paylan also was charged with trafficking hydrocodone and possessing Valium and Xanax.

Those charges were dropped in December 2011 after prosecutors said Paylan said she had accidentally taken home from her office syringes and empty boxes of drug samples. Doctors are allowed to keep drug samples, prosecutors said. The Times reported on both the arrest and the dropping of the charges.

Paylan still faces criminal charges of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, as well as fraudulent use of personal information. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Doctor files libel suit against Times Publishing Co. 04/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety

    Bucs

    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]
  2. Winning high school essays urge balance in U.S. foreign, domestic spending

    K12

    Three winners were selected by a panel of judges from among 250 entrants to receive a $1,200 scholarship in the R.F. "Red" Pittman Tampa Tribune Scholars essay contest.

  3. Tampa Tribune scholarships inspire students to keep digging for facts

    College

    TAMPA

    When the Tampa Tribune launched a scholarship for Hillsborough County's top high school seniors more than 50 years ago, no one could have guessed it would one day be turned over to the newspaper's rival, now called the Tampa Bay Times.

  4. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

    Business

    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.

  5. Photos of the week: 20 great images from around the globe

    World

    This week's collection of the most interesting photos from around the world features a silhouetted surfer in France, images of joy and grief from England, a massive landslide in California, a life rescued and a life lost at sea, an image from the final performance of "the greatest show on Earth" and, just for kicks, a …

    BIARRITZ, FRANCE - MAY 24:  Guillermo Satt of Chile in action whilst competing in the Men's Qualifying Round 2 during day five of the ISA World Surfing Games 2017 at Grande Plage  on May 24, 2017 in Biarritz, France.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)