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Texas House OKs mitigating defamation lawsuits

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The Texas House has passed a bill allowing publishers to mitigate the effects of libel lawsuits if the party affected by a mistake doesn't request a correction or retraction.

Approved by a voice vote Wednesday, the measure says corrections or retractions must be published in a timely manner, and one similarly prominent to how the original information was presented.

But it limits damages the affected party can collect from a publisher that makes non-malicious errors. It also limits a person or business from collecting punitive damages if they don't seek a retraction within 90 days.

The bill is supported by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and publishers. They say it may prevent libel lawsuits by requiring swift, prominent corrections.

The measure must still pass the state Senate.