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.”

Montse Reyes

Published by
Montse Reyes

Recent Posts

USF baseball rallies to sweep Pacific in first WCC series of season

For a moment on Sunday, things were not looking good for the Dons. University of the Pacific (7-13, 0-3) had…

1 min ago

Survivor of Miami bridge collapse sues design-construction firms

MIAMI — Two days after the last victim’s body was removed from a collapsed bridge near Florida International University, the…

1 min ago

Conservatory of Music development music to supervisors’ ears

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music hit all the right notes at a Board of Supervisors committee hearing Monday for…

22 mins ago

Renovation project at historic Geneva Car Barn breaks ground

After decades of advocacy from Excelsior District residents, city officials broke ground Monday morning on the first phase of a…

48 mins ago

Grassley considers hearing with Facebook, Google, Twitter CEOs after reports of data harvesting

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman is considering holding a hearing with the chiefs of Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and…

60 mins ago

Fourth explosion in Austin injures two; police have no leading suspect in string of bombings

AUSTIN, Texas — An explosion tore through a quiet Southwest Austin neighborhood Sunday night, sending two men to the hospital…

2 hours ago