Ohio top court to hear arguments in TV news defamation case

April 22, 2019 - 2:07 pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's Supreme Court will hear arguments in an appeal involving a defamation lawsuit that alleged a television station falsely labeled three siblings as "robbers."

A Columbus family sued WBNS-TV in 2016 after the station reported on a robbery at a Columbus waterpark and included a police-provided surveillance photo showing the faces of three unnamed individuals. The television's website story used "robbers" in the headline with the photo underneath. An investigation cleared the siblings pictured of wrongdoing.

WBNS argued the family couldn't prove the station acted negligently when it relied on police information, and a lower court dismissed the family's lawsuit. An appeals court overturned that decision, ruling the lawsuit could proceed.

Arguments in WBNS' appeal of that decision will be heard Wednesday in Ashtabula (ash-tuh-BYOO'-luh) County.

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