Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Louisville Radio: Suit Against WHAS' Terry Meiners Tossed

Terry Meiners
A judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit against longtime radio personality Terry Meiners and WHAS Radio, finding that comments Meiners made about a police officer involved "a matter of public interest" and expressed his opinion about a traffic stop.

According to WDRB-TV41, Louisville Metro Police Officer Sam Cromity claimed in a March 2012 lawsuit that Meiners disparaged and lied about him on the air after being given a speeding ticket in March 2011.

Cromity claimed Meiners referred to him as "Black Barney" -- an apparent reference to Barney Fife, a caricature of a bumbling, imbecilic police officer" and Cromity's black vehicle, that he played belittling songs about the highway patrol, and called the officer a delusional "liar" who was irresponsible, reckless and dangerous.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mary Shaw ruled Tuesday that Meiners' comments were "non-actionable expressions of opinion" based on the March 18, 2011 traffic stop.

Andrew Horne, Cromity's attorney, said they will appeal the ruling, adding that Meiners called Cromity a liar but that Meiners' attorney admitted his client had been speeding in a recent court hearing.

"First Amendment rights don't protect false statements," Horne said.

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