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Anderson v. WBNS-TV, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

March 1, 2018

Aaron Anderson et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
WBNS-TV, Inc., Defendant-Appellee.

         APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 16CV-9809

         On brief:

          Calig Law Firm, LLC, and Sonia T. Walker; Jones Law Group, LLC, and J. Michael Nicks, for appellants.

          Zeiger, Tigges & Little LLP, Marion H. Little, Jr. and Kris Banvard, for appellee.

         Argued:

          Sonia T. Walker.

          Matthew S. Zeiger.

          DECISION

          TYACK, J.

         {¶ 1} Aaron Anderson, Aaronana Anderson, Willie Anderson, and Nanita Williams ("the Andersons"), acting as guardians of Aaron Anderson, are appealing the summary judgment granted for WBNS-TV, Inc. ("WBNS") in the defamation lawsuit they filed against WBNS. The Andersons assign a single error for our review:

The Trial Court erred in granting Appellee's Motion for Summary Judgment on Appellants' defamation claim where Appellants provided clear and convincing evidence of Appellee's negligence.

         {¶ 2} They state the issue for our review as follows:

Whether Appellee's alteration in referring to Appellants as "robbers", when the police supplied information referred to Appellants as "suspects", is clear and convincing evidence sufficient to raise a jury question as to the fault element of Appellants' claim for defamation.

         {¶ 3} There is no indication that the Andersons are public figures, so the case does not necessitate the actual malice standard required for public figures by New York Time Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).

         {¶ 4} The complaint which initiated this lawsuit includes five theories for recovery. They are Invasion of Privacy/False Light, Defamation of Character, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Violation of R.C. 2739.14, and Loss of Consortium. At oral argument, counsel informed the ...


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