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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Teacher Says Cox TV Station Defamed Him

PITTSBURGH (CN) - A middle-school teacher says a Cox TV station defamed him by reporting that he was "in trouble again, this time convicted of having drugs." The teacher claims WPXI-TV falsely reported that he had been "'convicted today' of possession of heroin."

David Powers Sr. says he's taught and coached basketball for more than 20 years in Montour School District in Allegheny County, and has never been in trouble with the law and never has possessed any illegal drugs.

Powers, 46, says the Pittsburgh Police report showed that the person arrested was David A. Powers, 22. "Nonetheless, defendant's reporters identified plaintiff as being 46 years old who taught seventh and eighth grade for 20 years!" according to the complaint in Allegheny County Court.

Power claims WPXI reported the defamatory information "with actual malice," or was "recklessly indifferent to whether it was true or false."

He claims the station "failed to properly supervise its reporter and anchor and therefore allowed both to broadcast the aforesaid false and defamatory information without first conducting even rudimentary journalistic research."

Powers seeks punitive damages for defamation. He is represented by Samuel Cordes.

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