Categories: Gossip

Judge dismisses defamation lawsuit against HBO and John Oliver

A West Virginia judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by a coal magnate who was ridiculed on HBO’s show “Last Week Tonight” by host John Oliver.

Oliver targeted Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray during a segment last June that blasted his company and criticized the standards of the coal industry at large. In the segment, Oliver said that when a producer for his show tried to get in touch with Murray Energy, it responded with a cease and desist letter from its legal team. The company has a long history of threatening litigation against its critics.

“I know you’re probably going to sue me over this. But, you know what? I stand by everything I said,” said Oliver, who called the CEO a “geriatric Dr. Evil.”

Murray filed a lawsuit shortly after the episode aired.

Attorneys for HBO argued that Oliver’s comments were factual — sourced from various court documents about Murray — or obviously satirical, both of which are protected by the First Amendment.

Judge Jeffrey Cramer of West Virginia’s second judicial circuit agreed, siding with the network’s motion to dismiss the suit.

“I find the arguments set forth in the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and reply well-founded, appropriate in this matter and will grant the same,” Cramer wrote. “The court adopts, with little exception, defendants’ argument in support of their motion regarding all issues addressed in the same.”

Tribune News Service
Share
Published by
Tribune News Service

Recent Posts

SFUSD enrollment season is here

Where is your child going to school next year? It seems hard to believe, but it’s time to think about…

3 hours ago

Golden State Warriors set to open season with ring night, banner raising

By C.J. Peterson Special to S.F. Examiner OAKLAND -- For the third time in four years, the Golden State Warriors…

3 hours ago

Prosecutors say money drove lovestruck man to kill as Nob Hill murder trial closes

On a weekend last August, 64-year-old Michael Phillips walked into a Nob Hill apartment building with gloves on his hands…

4 hours ago

Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, dies at 65

Paul Allen, the taciturn computer programmer who founded the software behemoth Microsoft with Bill Gates when he was 22 and…

6 hours ago

Weekend shooting injures 2

A man and a woman were injured in a shooting early Sunday morning, police said Monday. The shooting was initially…

9 hours ago

Two men arrested in fatal Mission District shooting

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old man in the Mission District, according…

10 hours ago