FORT LAUDERDALE (CN) – Westwood One, which produces and distributes radio and TV traffic reports, claims public relations firm Transmedia Group and Pompano Helicopters conspired to defame it and manipulate its stock price through a press release. The press release allegedly overstated a Pompano damage complaint against Westwood as for $362 million, rather than in the $60,000 range.
Westwood claims the April 9 press release stated, falsely, that “a federal judge had found ‘sufficient cause [for] trial’ of a $362 million claim against Westwood – which, if proven, ‘would exceed Westwood’s current market capitalization.’ In fact,” Westwood claims, “Pompano’s complaint sought little more than $6 million in alleged damages, the vast majority of which were dismissed by the federal judge’s decision. Indeed, and as a result of the very same decision purportedly summarized in the press release, the complaint’s remaining claims seek ‘in excess of’ $60,000 as opposed to the $362 million asserted by the press release.”
Westwood claims the “false and defamatory statements” were repeated nationwide by news syndicates, which “not only injured Westwood’s reputation, but also caused a sharp decline in Westwood’s stock price” – a 19.8% drop in five hours, “resulting in a $42 million loss of market capitalization.”
Pompano Helicopters is based in Broward County. Transmedia Group is a PR firm with offices in Florida, New York and London.
Westwood seeks at least that much in damages. It is represented in Broward County Court by James Gale with Feldman Gale.