Rather's Case Against CBS Booted By N.Y. Court
September 29, 2009 at 2:31 PM (PT)
The NEW YORK Supreme Court has dismissed DAN RATHER's breach of contract suit against CBS CORPORATION over his treatment after the controversial 2004 story on former President GEORGE W. BUSH's TEXAS AIR NATIONAL GUARD service. RATHER sued the network for fraud and breach of contract for reducing his role at the network after the incident and concluding after an investigation that he and producer MARY MAPES bore responsibility for the story, which was based on memos that were shown by bloggers to have apparently been created in MICROSOFT WORD in recent years rather than by typewriter at the time of BUSH's service.
In the decision, the court ruled that RATHER, in arguing that CBS' actions cost him opportunities that would have paid a salary similar to his $4 million per year deal with the network, failed to show "a single opportunity with specified terms that was actually available to him and which he declined to accept because of CBS' actions," and that CBS had already been discussing a reduced role for RATHER before the story aired and then fell apart. It also noted that RATHER continued to be paid according to the terms of his contract, including accelerated payment upon termination in JUNE 2006.
RATHER's attorney MARTIN R. GOLD issued a statement saying, "We are extremely disappointed with the Appellate Court's decision. We believe the decision is incorrect on a number of grounds and, accordingly, we intend to ask the NEW YORK Court of Appeals to review it."
CBS issued its own statement reading in part, "CBS's position on each claim was upheld, as we have said they would be for the past two years. The court agreed with CBS that none of Mr. RATHER's causes of action state a valid claim. The court agreed that this has never been anything more than a contract dispute and that Mr. RATHER did not and could not plead that there was any breach of his contract. The court unequivocally rejected Mr. RATHER's allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty."