Judge dismisses lawsuits against FOX News for Seth Rich story

Mar 2012
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New Hampshire
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed two separate lawsuits against Fox News over its coverage of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staff member who was murdered, ruling that the suits failed to state a claim.

The legal actions were filed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. One, filed by Rich’s parents, claimed that Fox News intentionally tried to inflict emotional distress. The other was filed by a private detective, Rod Wheeler, alleging defamation. “Each of Plaintiffs’ claims fail to adequately allege essential elements of the causes of action asserted,” Judge George B. Daniels wrote in his ruling on the Riches’ lawsuit. “Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ complaint is dismissed in its entirety.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/02/fox-news-seth-rich-lawsuits-760463
 

HayJenn

Former Staff
Jul 2014
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63,453
CA
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed two separate lawsuits against Fox News over its coverage of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staff member who was murdered, ruling that the suits failed to state a claim.

The legal actions were filed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. One, filed by Rich’s parents, claimed that Fox News intentionally tried to inflict emotional distress. The other was filed by a private detective, Rod Wheeler, alleging defamation. “Each of Plaintiffs’ claims fail to adequately allege essential elements of the causes of action asserted,” Judge George B. Daniels wrote in his ruling on the Riches’ lawsuit. “Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ complaint is dismissed in its entirety.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/02/fox-news-seth-rich-lawsuits-760463
Shame - those parents were outraged and rightly so. I would be pretty mad as well if some tv cable news channel was spreading nutter theories about my dead son.
 
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RNG

Former Staff
Jan 2015
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Is this one of the judges that the Republican President appointed?
 
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Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
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Doesn't seem to have been dismissed with prejudice. They can re-file with improved arguments.
It sounds from the OP like the problem was not the quality of argument - one does not "argue" in pleading a cause of action - but rather that the complaints did not even allege the necessary elements sufficient to make the claims they wished to plead. In other words, either: 1) they wrote crappy complaints; 2) they cannot allege the necessary elements; or 3) both.

It is a little surprising that lawyers practicing in a particular area would not know enough to file, but perhaps this is not their area. On those rare occasions that I do something outside my normal area, I have to do foundational research just to make sure I know what I am doing. (Yes, I have done it successfully.) So I have no idea what these guys thought they were doing.

You are correct, though, that if not dismissed with prejudice, and if still within the statute of limitations, the plaintiffs can re-file. I suspect there is nothing to the IIED case, though.
 
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Dec 2006
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In the Witness Protection Program
Without reading the complaint, I’d venture to guess that the weakness may have come from the “damages” section. Sure, the parents were hurt and outraged, but they suffered no tangible monetary loss.
 

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
78,091
47,870
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
Without reading the complaint, I’d venture to guess that the weakness may have come from the “damages” section. Sure, the parents were hurt and outraged, but they suffered no tangible monetary loss.
It does not work like that. With IIED, the elements are: intent; action in furtherance of that intent (here, false reports); causation; injury. You do not need to show a tangible monetary loss in order to prevail in an IIED case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_infliction_of_emotional_distress

https://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/intentional-infliction-of-emotional-distress.html

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/intentional_infliction_of_emotional_distress
 
Jan 2007
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Shame - those parents were outraged and rightly so. I would be pretty mad as well if some tv cable news channel was spreading nutter theories about my dead son.
If I was a parent I would want to find out why he was murdered. The case is still unsolved. This is going to be a case of high profile considering all the players involved and surrounding circumstances.