Car Dealership Can’t Prove Newsday Libeled It

     (CN) – Newsday did not defame a New York car dealership by allegedly implying that it took advantage of a disabled person, a state appeals court ruled.
     Hustedt Chevrolet sued the newspaper for libel based on an article titled “Risks of giving autistic adults financial freedom.”
     The article told the story of a young man with a high-functioning form of autism who bought a car from Hustedt for $11,400.
     After the man’s mother complained, the dealership lowered the price to $8,550.
     Newsday quoted Hustedt as saying that the customer’s autism had no bearing on the price of the car.
     The Suffolk County Supreme Court granted Newsday summary judgment, and the Appellate Division’s Brooklyn-based Second Department affirmed last week.
     “Even if the newspaper article can be interpreted to imply the defamatory meaning alleged in the complaint, it is nevertheless nonactionable as an expression of pure opinion based upon disclosed facts,” the unsigned opinion states.

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