Judge rejects Parents Television Council motion to Dismiss Lawsuit
U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin in New York concluded that there was a sound legal basis for the WWE suit and that it should go forward. "Assuming, as I must, that the allegations of the Amended Complaint are true for purposes of this motion, I conclude that WWE has stated claims upon which relief can be granted," wrote Judge Chin.
WWE sued the PTC in November 2000, charging PTC founder L. Brent Bozell III and others with, among other things, defamation, tortious interference with business relations and copyright infringement.
As part of these activities, the PTC claimed that "WWE Smackdown!" could be linked to the deaths of four children, and that more than 30 to 40 advertisers had withdrawn their advertising from WWE SmackDown! The suit says the defendants made such false claims to WWE advertisers in order to damage the company and, at the same time, raise money for themselves and promote their organization.
Judge Chin wrote that the PTC and the other defendants may not make false and defamatory statements under cover of the First Amendment. "The First Amendment does not protect statements that are false and defamatory, even if they are made in the context of a public debate about issues of general concern," he wrote.
Judge Chin’s ruling on the motion is available through the court and WWE’s corporate website, wweecorpbiz.com.
WWE Entertainment, Inc. is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with sales offices in New York City, Chicago and Toronto. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and wweecorpbiz.com.
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