Republication of Authorities’ Defamatory Material Is Protected

Bruce S. Rosen won a dismissal under New York’s fair-report law in a libel case against a New York TV station that ran a photograph of a man police said was a sexual-assault suspect. While the police asked for help in identifying the suspect and later announced the arrest of someone else, they never announced that the man in the photograph and the suspect were different people. A Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn ruled that the station was protected by the law, which absolutely protects republication of authorities’ defamatory material. Rosen and Fehm argued that the TV station was unaware that the suspect was not the man in the photograph.

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