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Holistic healer wins $1 million defamation award

MINNEAPOLIS — An attorney for a Twin Cities television station says a $1 million defamation award will be appealed.

A Dakota County jury awarded a holistic healer from Hudson, Wis., compensatory damages in a 2009 story aired by KSTP-TV about the woman's treatment of a patient.

The case involves naturopathy as an alternative to medicine. KSTP's story said Susan Wahl, also known as Susan Anderson, tried to wean Cheryl Blaha from anti-anxiety medication and that she tried to commit suicide as a result. Anderson sued the station, claiming that records showed Blaha's own medical doctor reduced the medication and that there was no proof of a suicide attempt.

KSTP attorney Paul Hannah said he will file appeal motions in the coming weeks.

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