MINNESOTA–In early July, the Minnesota Supreme Court without comment let stand a lower court’s decision to dismiss a defamation suit against St. Paul’s KSTP-TV.
The suit was brought by Ronald Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine, after the station aired a report critical of some local veterinarians and the board in May 1993.
The report alleged that the board failed to investigate and discipline veterinarians who were mistreating animals, according to the Associated Press.
Olson alleged that the report made him appear ineffective in his position on the board. He further claimed that the television station secretly videotaped him in violation of federal and state wiretap laws.
The suit was dismissed by Ramsey County District Judge James Clark Jr. in August 1994. In mid-May, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the decision.
Another suit relating to the news report is pending in district court. According to the AP, Greg and Betty Copeland of St. Paul are suing the station for trespassing and misrepresentation. The couple alleges that a KSTP employee entered their home with a hidden camera after claiming to be a veterinary student, the AP reported. (Olson v. Hubbard Broadcasting Inc.; Media Counsel: Robert L. Burrows, Minneapolis)
The Reporters Committee regularly files friend-of-the-court briefs and its attorneys represent journalists and news organizations pro bono in court cases that involve First Amendment freedoms, the newsgathering rights of journalists and access to public information. Stay up-to-date on our work by signing up for our monthly newsletter and following us on Twitter or Instagram.