Kangelaris v. WWOR-TV 9
Justice Diccia Pineda-Kirwan
WWOR-TV broadcast an investigative report regarding a dispute between Kangelaris and his neighbors. Kangelaris sued for defamation and sought $5 billion in damages. Defendants moved for dismissal arguing Kangelaris failed to meet his prima facie burden for defamation. Kangelaris admitted in his deposition that he had problems with his neighbors and an incident involving an argument and altercation occurred. He claimed he was called a "terrorist" and a "racist," and compared to John Gotti, yet such terms were never used in the report in relation to Kangelaris. The reporter, Taylor, noted she attempted to get Kangelaris' side of the story, but he refused, thus she interviewed various witnesses and corroborated her facts with other witnesses who appeared on camera. She stated she had no intention to state or imply Kangelaris was involved in hate crimes. The court ruled defendants established they did not publish a false statement about Kangelaris, but Kangelaris failed to submit evidence that any of the statements were made, or if they were, that they were made in reference to him. Further, the court stated Kangelaris' continuous failure to comply with discovery also warranted dismissal.