D'lite, Suing "Shame, Shame Shame" T.V. Show For Defamation, Fails To Show Need For Additional Document Discovery

Court: Supreme Court, New York County, New York

Case: Matthew Prince v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Arnold Diaz

Date: Aug. 28, 2012

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving the Bronx and Queens; Queens injury attorney)

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Facts: D'Lites sues investigative reporter Arnold Diaz and Fox Television for slander and defamation about its frozen dessert product. In March 2011 Diaz started investigating D'Lites's nutritional claims and collecting samples of its diet ice cream. On May 12, 2011, defendants broadcast their television show, "Shame, Shame, Shame." D'Lites claimed that defendants used an incorrect product sample size for the calorie and other nutritional information that Diaz was reporting.

Discovery commenced, and D'Lites sought various documents and other information from defendants.

This case comes before the court as part of D'Lites attempts to force defendants to give up withheld documents and information.

Defendants deny that they held back documents and argue that they have given over all relevant, unprivileged documents.

The Law: A plaintiff seeking items of discovery must show that the material sought is: (1) necessary to its claim, (2) relevant, and, (3) can't be obtained somewhere else.

Public policy in New York State is in favor of broad discovery to help the parties search for the truth.

The court must balance D'Lite's need for the information and whether the information is relevant against the possible burden of disclosure on defendants.

Therefore, the fact that Fox TV and Diaz are defendants in this litigation, in and of itself, does not preclude them from invoking the Shield Law as a basis to withhold the information sought.

D=Lite must show that any materials utilized in preparation of the November episode of "Shame, Shame Shame" are relevant and material to the issue of whether Diaz and Fox Television followed "sound journalistic practices."

Holding: The documents and information previously provided by defendants satisfied the rules of discovery. No further items need be provided by Diaz and Fox Television.

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