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Amy Jacobson Wins First Court Battle, Lawsuit Proceeds

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Feb 18, 2009 9:40PM

2009_02_18_amy.jpg It's been far too long since we heard anything from embattled former TV reporter Amy Jacobson. Besides having her story kinda-sorta adapted for a Law & Order episode, you may remember that Jacobson sued CBS 2 for airing the controversial video that led to her termination at NBC 5. The Trib's Eric Zorn, had the details when Amy first filed suit and now Encyclopedia Zorn is back on the case with an update on how Jacobson's lawsuit has cleared a hurdle.

Associate Cook County Judge Elizabeth Budzinski upheld four of Jacobson's eight counts, dismissed three without prejudiced (meaning, as Zorn points out, "Jacobson's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, can amend and refile them"), and dismissed just one count. Here's how it all shook out:

  • Count I - "Intrustion upon seclusion" - count dismissed without prejudice
  • Count II - "False Light" - upheld
  • Count III - "Violation of Illinois Right of Publicity Act" - count dismissed with prejudice
  • Count IV - "Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress" - upheld
  • Count V - "Defamation per se" - upheld
  • Count VI - "Defamation per quod" - upheld
  • Count VII - "tortious interference with a business relationship" - count dismissed without prejudice
  • Count VIII - "tortious interference with a business expectancy." - count dismissed without prejudice

You can read the decision here [PDF]. In terms of Count III, the only count to be fully dismissed, Judge Budzinski ruled in favor of CBS since the Illinois Right of Publicity Act "does not apply to the use of an individual's identity for non-commercial purposes, including any news broadcast." Head over to Zorn's story for more links and a list of more pertinent documents.