Reporter’s Gaffe Wasn’t Defamation, Court Says | Courthouse News Service
Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Reporter’s Gaffe Wasn’t Defamation, Court Says

(CN) - A Buffalo TV station did not defame a local businessman by misidentifying him in a news report as the president of a bankrupt investment fund, a New York appeals court ruled.

David M. Gordon sued WIVB-TV reporter Al Vaughters and Lin TV for $10 million, claiming that Vaughters' news report improperly identified Gordon as the president of Builders Capital, a bankrupt investment fund.

An Erie County judge ruled in the journalists' favor, and the Rochester-based appellate division affirmed on Nov. 10.

"We conclude that the defendants met their burden of establishing their entitlement to a judgment as a matter of law inasmuch as they did not act 'in a grossly irresponsible manner without due consideration for the standards of information gathering and dissemination normally followed by responsible parties,'" the unsigned decision states.

"A limited number of errors in news reporting is inevitable, and the fact that defendants corrected the mistake within the same broadcast demonstrated that they strived for accuracy."

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