Court reinstates verdict against WHAS-TV for 1994 Kentucky Kingdom defamation suit

Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005 9:11 AM | Contributed by Outlane

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday reinstated a nearly $3 million judgment against WHAS-TV in Louisville for a defamatory report about a roller coaster accident at the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park in June 1994.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005 9:14 AM
Jeff's avatar Duh. When I took broadcast law in college, we spent at least one-third of the class reviewing libel and defamation case law. You generally have to be a real moron for doing something that gets you sued.
Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:12 AM
So does this mean SFKK is getting $3 million? We could use the money for improvments. Or does the $3 million go directly towards SFI ?
Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:15 AM
Jeff's avatar They're the same thing, and it would go into a general pot like anything else.
Saturday, August 27, 2005 11:29 AM
Due to the timing, Ed Hart and his group are entitled to the money. Not Six Flags, unless Ed sigend an agreement that past actions and settlements would be turned over to current owners. No idiot would do that. They set up escrow funds for past legal claims, and past due bills, etc.

Then again, idiots prevail. But, probably Ed Hart will receive a nice end of the season check and invest into Magic Springs.*** This post was edited by Agent Johnson 8/27/2005 12:09:24 PM ***

Sunday, August 28, 2005 10:57 PM
I think after Hurricane Katrina there's going to be a certain park down in New Orleans that will need this 3 million much worse than SFKK, but it would be nice for SFKK to be able to use it.
Monday, August 29, 2005 7:32 AM
What was said, the article wasn't very specific. Which coaster and how long ago was this reported? I watch WHAS sometimes, just wondering.
Monday, August 29, 2005 12:15 PM

But lawyer Ann Oldfather, who helped win the case for about 30 shareholders who formerly owned the amuse- ment park,

None of this money is going to Six Flags.

And Stacey, what do you mean the article wasn't specific? It says in black and white that

reporter ...said: "State inspectors also think the ride is too dangerous."

No state inspector ever said that and, in fact, a state official called the station to complain about the claim that they said that.

Monday, August 29, 2005 3:22 PM
OOPS sorry it was early when I scanned the article....sorry for your inconvenience!
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:13 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar While I can see the point of the opposition fearing that this is violating the First Amendment "freedom of the press," I can agree with this ruling. I honestly think the news is a joke nowadays. I would love to see just one newspaper or news station out there that would just report on good news. The "If it bleeds, it leads" mentality is something that is very annoying.

If someone was sleeping under a rock decided to wake up and turn on the TV today, you'd think that we were a bunch of fat, unhealthy, murdering-theiving-rapists, that are being destroyed by hurricanes, earthquakes, and global warming, and are sueing everyone else around them for all the trouble because we can't responsibility for everything. It's stupid.

Meanwhile the ones that DO good and make news end up in the back of the newspaper, next to the Funnies and Classifieds. I say bravo on fighting libel.

~Rob "And that's all I have to say about that" Willi

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 12:34 PM
Jeff's avatar This has nothing to do with freedom of the press. You can still say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean you can't be held accountable in civil court.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 6:08 PM
It was the Starchaser coaster; it is now located at Great Escape as Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon.
Friday, September 2, 2005 6:11 PM
I wonder about the judge who issued the dissenting opinion... "all the statements in the report were privileged and were substantially accurate."

Since when is quoting someone as saying something they never said considered accurate? And how can something that is publicly broadcast be considered privileged information? Maybe the audience consisted entirely of priests... or doctors. Even the supposed "source" (the state inspector) made a public statement that he was quoted as making a statement that he never made. So this doofus thinks the media should be able to make up their own sources so they can make false statements but claim they got it from a privileged source? So much for truth and integrity in broadcasting.


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