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Epstein v. Gray Television, Inc.

United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
474 F. Supp. 2d 835 (W.D. Tex. 2007)


Facts

Benn (defendant), a Georgia resident, was a reporter for Gray Television, Inc. and Gray Television Group, Inc. (Gray) (defendants). Benn did a story on malpractice lawsuits in South Carolina against Epstein (plaintiff), who had moved to Texas to work for a Veterans Administration Hospital. Benn conducted most of her investigation in Georgia and South Carolina but interviewed Epstein in Texas by phone. Benn also researched Texas laws and searched for reports against Epstein with the Texas Medical Board. Benn provided her investigation to the Veteran’s Administration. Gray aired Benn’s report in South Carolina and Georgia and on its website. Benn provided the report to an affiliate station in Texas, though it was not run. Epstein sued the defendants for libel in federal district court in Texas under diversity jurisdiction. Benn filed a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, claiming that she did not have sufficient contacts with the state to warrant personal jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Furgeson, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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