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Title: Norfolk Business Owner Awarded $300K in Damages as City Appeals Verdict

In a recent defamation lawsuit, a jury has ruled in favor of a Norfolk business owner, awarding her $300,000 in damages.

However, the city has appealed the decision and is now awaiting a judge’s ruling.

Stephanie Want Nola, the owner of a Norfolk business, filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming defamation by a city employee.

Last week, the jury sided with Nola, determining that she should receive $300,000 in damages.

Court documents reveal that city officials argue that Nola had been operating her business illegally.

Nola has been running various restaurants in Norfolk since 2005, with her most recent establishment located on Granby Street since 2016.

Although she sold the business in 2020, she remained the landlord.

According to court documents, the city claimed that Nola’s operations were not properly notified, leading to the shutdown of her business.

However, Nola insists that she followed all the necessary procedures and obtained the required permits and licenses.

After the alleged defamatory comment by a city employee, Nola claims that the sale of her business fell through.

The defense argued that the city should not be held accountable for the actions of an individual employee.

Additionally, they pointed out that Nola had operated her business under a different name, although her taxes were paid under the proper business entity.

When approached for a comment, the City Attorney’s Office released a statement indicating that while the jury returned a verdict, no judgment has been entered against the city yet.

They mentioned that motions to strike the plaintiff’s case and potentially grant a judgment in favor of the city are under consideration, which could effectively nullify the jury’s verdict.

The City Attorney’s Office does not anticipate a decision on the jury’s verdict until at least May.

The case has garnered attention, highlighting the ongoing legal battle between the Norfolk business owner and the city.

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