Coal baron's libel lawsuit against John Oliver dismissed with prejudice

Singularity

Former Staff
Oct 2009
32,755
26,910
Kansas
#1
Very short ruling, which is a traditional way for courts to say "your case clearly has no merit at all but I will spare you a lecture on why it has no merit."

Unless Bob Murray prevails on the appeal he has already vowed, somehow, he has been prohibited from suing John Oliver over the same comments again.

Protections for insult comedy in the whole state are likewise strengthened by this simple precedent.
 
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Jun 2014
61,324
35,570
Cleveland, Ohio
#2
Very short ruling, which is a traditional way for courts to say "your case clearly has no merit at all but I will spare you a lecture on why it has no merit."

Unless Bob Murray prevails on the appeal he has already vowed, somehow, he has been prohibited from suing John Oliver over the same comments again.

Protections for insult comedy in the whole state are likewise strengthened by this simple precedent.
This should have resulted in an award of costs against the coal mining fuckwhit. So many ways no suit for libel could ever succeed, starting with the coal mining fuckwhit could never show John Oliver's remarks led directly to any financial injury.

Butthurt twit even filed in West Virginia, doubtless thinking coal country jurors would have a bias against Oliver.
 

Singularity

Former Staff
Oct 2009
32,755
26,910
Kansas
#4
This should have resulted in an award of costs against the coal mining fuckwhit. So many ways no suit for libel could ever succeed, starting with the coal mining fuckwhit could never show John Oliver's remarks led directly to any financial injury.

Butthurt twit even filed in West Virginia, doubtless thinking coal country jurors would have a bias against Oliver.
Right. Even if Murray had prevailed on the merits, he's a public figure with a well-established bad reputation.

The chances of him being able to prove material damage that would not have otherwise occurred are virtually nil, and Murray's counsel knew that.

They sued anyway just to waste Oliver's time, and the court's. By dismissing it with prejudice, the judge is effectively warning them to drop it.

Courts like to give warnings rather than go right to sanctions, but this is so frivolous and vindictive that it shows too much patience.

Probably another reason it was filed in Murray's home state, rather than the location the material was produced, which would've been more appropriate.
 
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Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
75,823
44,729
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#5
Very short ruling, which is a traditional way for courts to say "your case clearly has no merit at all but I will spare you a lecture on why it has no merit."
More accurately, it means - in this context - that plaintiffs did not state a claim upon which relief could be granted. It is not so much that the case has not merit, but that he did not state a case in his complaint to begin with. Thus, the dismissal was pursuant to WV Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and the dismissal with prejudice was in effect a ruling that the statements made by Oliver did not create a claim against him by plaintiffs.

Here is the Complaint, which I have read.

This link contains the Motion to Dismiss, which I have read some of and browsed the rest. Note page 36 (labeled as page 30 in the document, following the prefatory pages).

Unless Bob Murray prevails on the appeal he has already vowed, somehow, he has been prohibited from suing John Oliver over the same comments again.
Note the page referenced above, in which Murray's history of litigation is briefly discussed. He will no more prevail in West Virginia than he did in Ohio.

Protections for insult comedy in the whole state are likewise strengthened by this simple precedent.
Well, the case itself is not precedent, being only a trial court decision. Only an appellate case opinion would be precedent. However, in this situation, the judge paid attention to precedent and dumped the case, as he should have.
 
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Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
75,823
44,729
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#6
This should have resulted in an award of costs against the coal mining fuckwhit.
Chances are WV law does not provide for it, else the defendants would have requested attorney fees and costs.

However, if you look toward the end of the Motion to Dismiss, linked in my earlier post, the Ohio Court of Appeals suggested the Ohio legislature provide for such an award in cases like this, wherein Murray had done the same thing to someone in that state, and gotten the same result.
 
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Singularity

Former Staff
Oct 2009
32,755
26,910
Kansas
#7
More accurately, it means - in this context - that plaintiffs did not state a claim upon which relief could be granted. It is not so much that the case has not merit, but that he did not state a case in his complaint to begin with. Thus, the dismissal was pursuant to WV Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and the dismissal with prejudice was in effect a ruling that the statements made by Oliver did not create a claim against him by plaintiffs.

Here is the Complaint, which I have read.

This link contains the Motion to Dismiss, which I have read some of and browsed the rest. Note page 36 (labeled as page 30 in the document, following the prefatory pages).


Note the page referenced above, in which Murray's history of litigation is briefly discussed. He will no more prevail in West Virginia than he did in Ohio.


Well, the case itself is not precedent, being only a trial court decision. Only an appellate case opinion would be precedent. However, in this situation, the judge paid attention to precedent and dumped the case, as he should have.
See, I can only play at legal analysis. You actually know what you're talking about. Thanks.
 
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