Breaking: Appeals court tosses Rather suit against CBS

posted at 2:52 pm on September 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The state court of appeals in New York has dismissed a lawsuit from Dan Rather against CBS for wrongful termination and $70 million in damages. The court was apparently not impressed with the claim that CBS did any more damage to his reputation than he did himself with a collection of fraudulent documents and unsubstantiated allegations:

Bad news for Dan Rather: His $70 million lawsuit against CBS is no more.

In a 19-page decision made public Tuesday, a state appeals court dismissed the legendary newsman’s suit against CBS. …

A lawyer for Rather and a CBS spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Jammie Wearing Fool hopes Rather will now slip into obscurity. That should be easy to do as a reporter for HDNet, of course. Obscurity is usually the final stop after humiliation, and in truth Rather has mostly arrived at that destination except for news about this lawsuit.

Will he appeal? What else does he have to do?

Update: More from the LA Times, which indicates a total repudiation of Rather’s claims:

But in its ruling, the appeals panel found that CBS did not violate the terms of Rather’s contract because it continued to pay him, citing the contract’s “pay or play” provision. The finding was a major blow to the longtime newsman, who had cast the suit as part of a broader effort to rein in the influence of corporations on news organizations. …

In its ruling, issued more than five months after the parties argued the case before the appellate division, the court reversed Judge Ira Gammerman’s decisions on the case.

“This Court finds that the motion court erred in denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss the claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, and therefore we find the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety,” the ruling said.

The appellate division found that Gammerman should have dismissed Rather’s breach of contract claim against CBS, rejecting the anchor’s argument that he was warehoused by the network constituted a violation of his deal.

“This claim attempts to gloss over the fact that Rather continued to be compensated at his normal CBS salary of approximately $6 million a year until June 2006 when the compensation was accelerated upon termination, consistent with his contract,” the court wrote. Rather’s contract did not require “that CBS actually use Rather’s services or broadcast any programs on which he appears, but simply retains the option of accelerating the payment of his compensation under the agreement if he is not assigned to either program.”

Rather’s legal team confirms that he plans to appeal.


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Bush’s fault.

Good Lt on September 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I’d “rather” not talk about this! XD

*is shot by pun police*

Orange Doorhinge on September 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Dan Blather only got into broadcasting because he was too lazy to work and too nervous to steal.

Percy_Peabody on September 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Sounds like Judge Ira Gammerman is ready for a SCOTUS appointment.

WashJeff on September 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Rats, I was rather hoping for a good sideshow this fall.

MarkTheGreat on September 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Entitlement.

Count to 10 on September 29, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Woo hoo! Score one for the Communist Broadcasting System lesser of two evils.

Laura in Maryland on September 29, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Bye bye Dirty Dan!

wepeople on September 29, 2009 at 2:58 PM

COURAGE.

ParisParamus on September 29, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Even today, I can only spell “rather” with a superscripted TH.

beatcanvas on September 29, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Allahpundit, you magnificent bastard!

SouthernGent on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Rather’s legal team confirms that he plans to appeal.

Rather hasn’t been appealing in decades.

I still want to know the real story behind those fake memos. Who in the Kerry campaign was involved (unless you believe in coincidence that Kerry’s “fortunate son” ad came out the same day as the memos surfaced).

highhopes on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

If he is going to appeal he obviously has more money then sense.

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Unrepentant lying lefty loses lawsuit against unrepentant lying news organization. Film at 11.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Passenger Ramirez, please step up to the podium…passenger Lucy Ramirez, please come to the podium.

BobMbx on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

The $6 million news reader.

What a worthless liar.

Tried to parlay his career of lying into fixing an election for another piece of trash in John Kerry.

Failed at that.

Dan Rather may you go away and never be spoken of again.

NoDonkey on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Allahpundit, you magnificent bastard!

SouthernGent on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Ed you mean? Maybe I haven’t had enough coffee yet.

upinak on September 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM

I wonder what Blather thought when CBS gave Katie such a HUGE contract to replace him?

karenhasfreedom on September 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM

May he rest in pieces.

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Word.

LibTired on September 29, 2009 at 3:02 PM

I read a few weeks ago that Rather and/or CBS knew for a fact that Bush had actually volunteered to serve separate and apart from the “memo”

ParisParamus on September 29, 2009 at 3:03 PM

I hear ol’ Jimmy Carter needs a new spokestool….

Birds of obscurity, flock…well… you get it…

ted c on September 29, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Does this mean that Rather can stop blathering now?. isn’t there a rat hole that he can crawl into….hmm, I hear there is one open in Iraq. Called the Saddam Inn. : )

hawkman on September 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Ed you mean? Maybe I haven’t had enough coffee yet.

upinak on September 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Allahpundit broke the story on the fake documents.

SouthernGent on September 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Allahpundit broke the story on the fake documents.

SouthernGent on September 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Oh that is right. Thanks.. now on for more caffine.

upinak on September 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM

racism

notagool on September 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM

I’m shocked,shocked I tell,you!!

Wait a tic,give me a second,nope,
can’t Manufacture any Outrage,either!!

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM

upinak, here’s the summation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allahpundit

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Totally off thread(maybe slightly media related) but ABC national radio just ran a story about where the best place to hide in case of a Zombie attack (mall or woods). Really?

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM

If we lived by the rule “loser pays” I wonder how eager Mr. Fake But Accurate would have been to file this suit in the first place, much less pursue an appeal.

Those CBS sharks must cost a fortune, no?

DrW on September 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Rather continued to be compensated at his normal CBS salary of approximately $6 million a year until June 2006 when the compensation was accelerated upon termination, consistent with his contract

Too bad there wasn’t a credibility clause in his contract. CBS could have shown him the door much sooner, and saved millions.

Vashta.Nerada on September 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Allahpundit broke the story on the fake documents.

SouthernGent on September 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM

I thought that honor went to Chuckles Johnson?

Knucklehead on September 29, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Aw nerts. I was so looking forward to the discovery phase.

rbj on September 29, 2009 at 3:07 PM

COURAGE.

ParisParamus on September 29, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Perfect!

+10

paragon27x on September 29, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Breaking on Fox

Senate Committe votes against Government Run public option plan!!

milwife88 on September 29, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Oh Danny boy, the crickets legs are rubbing together, making thee most woeful, sad, violin music for your plight.

Oh wait. The crickets don’t give a rats a$$ either.

capejasmine on September 29, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Breaking on Fox

Senate Committe votes against Government Run public option plan!!

milwife88 on September 29, 2009 at 3:08 PM

cue ABBA…

ted c on September 29, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Unrepentant lying lefty loses lawsuit against unrepentant lying news organization. Film at 11.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Now that’s truth in journalism.

Gang-of-One on September 29, 2009 at 3:09 PM

ISn’t Dan Rather a euphemism for a sexual act?

Holger on September 29, 2009 at 3:10 PM

There is simply no justice in this country. First Roman Polanski is arrested for an old issue that wasn’t rape-rape, and now Big News gets a judicial handout.

When will the little people have their day in a truly honest court?/total sarc

Liam on September 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM

If he is going to appeal he obviously has more money then sense.

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

He won’t have that money for long. ;)

TQM38a on September 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM

The rest of the liberal media is dying a slow death.

seven on September 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Totally off thread(maybe slightly media related) but ABC national radio just ran a story about where the best place to hide in case of a Zombie attack (mall or woods). Really?

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Cindy Munford:These Zombies,its probably Kool-Aid leftys,
or,the Lefts newest creations,Indoctrination
of the Children,as in Children of the Damned!
haha:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiIDc5FDLtI&feature=related

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Breaking on Fox

Senate Committe votes against Government Run public option plan!!

milwife88 on September 29, 2009 at 3:08 PM

We have the votes.

/senatecommittee343

LibTired on September 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Two great stories today: this one and the Senate Finance Committee voting NO on the public option.

Christian Conservative on September 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Max Baucus…..

cue Joe Wilson….

ted c on September 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM

You mean his attorney’s want to appeal? Imagine that, attorneys keeping a loser suit alive so they can keep billing….
“I tell you Dan, you have a strong case, once in court we can’t lose…you spent too many good years building up your reputation, you know those docs could have been real, they set you up for the fall guy…I am telling you Dan, don’t let this go, we can win this case. Tell you what we are going to do, give you a break, charge you just $450 an hour and we will put an additional top notch researcher on for just $250 an hour, we aren’t going to let them get you for a few bucks. We can have this wrapped up in an appeal in another couple of hundred hours each or so.”

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

As for Dan,

An ass by any other name…

Doorgunner on September 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

The rest of the liberal media is dying a slow death.

seven on September 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM

seven:Like slamming into iceberg after iceberg,daily!!haha.

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

This is the 3rd time these guys have cried wolf on this “we have the votes” crap.

New Motto:
Goin’ Joe Wilson

ted c on September 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Considering Helen Thomas’ age, Dan could get a job as senior White House Correspondent in another 30 years.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Rather’s legal team confirms that he plans to appeal.

Translation: The dummy still has some money.

GarandFan on September 29, 2009 at 3:15 PM

LibTired on September 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM

I’m waiting to see which dems voted no. Rham is making a new “horse head in bed” list. They need to watch out, he may just plie their a$$. NOT pretty!

milwife88 on September 29, 2009 at 3:15 PM

TQM38a on September 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM

He’s getting pretty long in the tooth, I hope he has family looking out for his best interests because this seems a tab goofy.

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2009 at 3:18 PM

milwife88 on September 29, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Rahm can also always get Polanski to screw Obama’s enemies in the…

Liam on September 29, 2009 at 3:18 PM

The appellate division found that Gammerman should have dismissed Rather’s breach of contract claim against CBS, rejecting the anchor’s argument that he was warehoused by the network constituted a violation of his deal.

Love those layers of editors at the LA Times. I’ll sell them a “which” cheap. It will be on a copy of a fax, though, but that meets MSM guidelines. In fact, you can use that and get paid six million dollars a year!

Pablo on September 29, 2009 at 3:18 PM

What’s the frequency now, Dan?

scalleywag on September 29, 2009 at 3:18 PM

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Just one of those light, feel good stories I guess. The answer is the mall.

Cindy Munford on September 29, 2009 at 3:18 PM

I should know that guy in the picture. What is his name again?

PappaMac on September 29, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Why is he appealing? Does he has some documents against CBS he’s made up discovered?

kingsjester on September 29, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Another victory for the vast right wing conspiracy/noise machine/teabaggers or whatever the hell the left calls it now.

SteveMG on September 29, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Unless Dan cops to a 20 year heroin addiction or lost week with Courtney Love, his time in the spotlight is over.

Thank God. Go away, Dan.

ROCnPhilly on September 29, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Thanks Dan the Man.
You helped damage CBS’s reputation and not the other way around. CBS may not fully recover. You recover???
Try a 12 step program. Mr O’Keefe is filling your shoes.

seven on September 29, 2009 at 3:20 PM

“Courage”…

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM

Dan Rather was a great war correspondent during the Spanish American War

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM

Just remember Dan……Courage!

Oh, and before you turn out the lights and disappear into obscurity, one last question:

Exactly what was the frequency, Kenneth?

pilamaye on September 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM

What’s the frequency now, Dan?

scalleywag on September 29, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Heh. Good one, Kenneth.

ROCnPhilly on September 29, 2009 at 3:22 PM

upinak, here’s the summation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allahpundit

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Allah has his own wiki? Interesting though as I read through it… h/t to Allah.

upinak on September 29, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Fox Breaking: A tsunami just hit American Samoa.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Senate Committe votes against Government Run public option plan!!

Don’t be so happy so fast. The Rockefeller amendment went down, but the Schumer amendment is up next. The Government Option ain’t quite dead yet.

Pablo on September 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Dan
Your punditry and opinion was on life lie support for years.

seven on September 29, 2009 at 3:26 PM

What an inconsequential tool this man has become.

Malpaso on September 29, 2009 at 3:28 PM

dan who?

jbh45 on September 29, 2009 at 3:28 PM

I’m thrilled Rather at last got his due. Lib media types believe they themselves are the news, not what they report. They tend to believe their ‘mission’ is to shape society and the future, rather (no pun intended) than the job being to inform a free people of what goes on in government at home and what happens around the world.

Rather screwed up and he knows it. I recall his dismay in 1994 when the American people–not the Republicans–changed the leadership of a Congress long controlled by Democrats. The best part that night was when it seemed Ted Kennedy might lost his Senate seat. Rather’s face was filled with something like fear while reporting that particular race was a close one.

Eventually he got so far ahead of himself he thought he could get by with impunity passing off questionable documents that were soon proved to be forgeries. I believe he knew what he was doing, and all he’s tried since is saving his legacy. Well, he got his wish but not the way he wanted; his legacy is saved for posterity. And it’s an ugly one, sad for him.

He’ll go into obscurity at last, like Nikita Khruschev did in 1964.

Somehow, I find that comfortably fitting.

Liam on September 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

OT BREAKING: Carl Cameron says that Rockefeller’s amendment for Public Option has failed disastrously.

Enoxo on September 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Now that he has some free time on his hands, Dan could become the spokesman for ACORN. They are made for each other.

meci on September 29, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Blather should be the new bull$h!2 czar and have Mary Mapes as his deputy.

macncheez on September 29, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Now that he has some free time on his hands, Dan could become the spokesman for ACORN. They are made for each other.

meci on September 29, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Dan could dig up (make up) dirt on the two kids that brought down ACORN

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Maybe Obama will fund his lawsuit.

jake-the-goose on September 29, 2009 at 3:38 PM

D’OH!!!!

Gee, Dan. You might want to put some ice on that. It’s going to leave a mark!

Jack.

Jack Deth on September 29, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Bush’s fault.

Good Lt on September 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I agree. This is Bush’s Fault!

BigMike252 on September 29, 2009 at 3:40 PM

During WW2, Dan was assigned as a human desk for a war correspondent due to his flat back.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Jack Deth on September 29, 2009 at 3:39 PM

You’re a Trancers fan?

Liam on September 29, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Why that sucks more than a fat intern!

Lonetown on September 29, 2009 at 3:43 PM

During the Korean War Dan worked for New York Sun Times Gazette as the flashbulb catcher boy for their war photographer.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Obscurity is usually the final stop after humiliation

I’m looking at you, Charles “Frogger” Johnson.

Christien on September 29, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Allahpundit broke the story on the fake documents.

SouthernGent on September 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Actually it started with a guy on Free Republic, “Buckhead”, then was picked up by Power Line, followed shortly thereafter by lgf.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killian_documents#September_8_segment_and_initial_reactions

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2009 at 3:48 PM

What I am worried about is that this could ruin Dan Rathers reputation….

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

newton on September 29, 2009 at 3:49 PM

After Korea, Dan was offered his first real paying job at $12 a month and decided then he could ask for the hand of his high school sweetheart Ruth Mary Ann Smithe. She was a skinny buck toothed girl of 19 with one continuous eyebrow. But that’s the type of woman that Dan longed for.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Dan could dig up (make up) dirt on the two kids that brought down ACORN

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:37 PM

He has documents showing that Giles was AWOL during the Vietnam war, she never served, never reported, never signed up for the selective service…

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Actually it started with a guy on Free Republic, “Buckhead”, then was picked up by Power Line, followed shortly thereafter by lgf.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killian_documents#September_8_segment_and_initial_reactions

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2009 at 3:48 PM

And here’s the link to the original post.

Documents Suggest Special Treatment For Bush in Guard – Comment 47

newton on September 29, 2009 at 3:52 PM

What I am worried about is that this could ruin Dan Rathers reputation….

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:49 PM

At this point, not even drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl could sully what’s left of Rather’s reputation.

Liam on September 29, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Dan could dig up (make up) dirt on the two kids that brought down ACORN

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:37 PM

He has documents showing that Giles was AWOL during the Vietnam war, she never served, never reported, never signed up for the selective service…

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:51 PM

LOLOL…I knew it…those damned draft dodgers!

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Fox Breaking: A tsunami just hit American Samoa.

amerpundit on September 29, 2009 at 3:22 PM

amerpundit: Heres NOAA warning centre!!:)

http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Dan was later signed to a desk, well actually under a desk, the desk of the president of CBS. This was the break he was looking for, a chance to edit some real news stories. The president gave him many “stories” under the desk to polish up…and Dan dug right into it with both hands. When he finally reached a point where he was really sinking his teeth into the “stories”, he was promoted, he finally got his own beat…

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:56 PM

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