Muzikowski v. Paramount Pictures Corp.
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
322 F.3d 918 (7th Cir. 2003)
In 2000, Paramount Pictures Corp. (Paramount) (defendant) released a movie based on a book written by Daniel Coyle about his experiences as a Little League coach in the projects in Chicago. The book referenced Robert Muzikowski (plaintiff) by name, as Muzikowski was a fellow coach with Coyle. Paramount’s movie contained a fictional character loosely based on Muzikowski, but named the character Conor O’Neill. However, O’Neill contained many derogatory features that Muzikowski did not have, such as a drinking and gambling addiction, and several arrests, bar fights, and anger issues, among other traits. Additionally, the movie portrayed O’Neill as getting into coaching to pay off gambling debt, when Muzikowski stated he started coaching simply because he had “genuine concern for children.” Although Muzikowski’s name was not mentioned anywhere in the film, several of his friends and family called before the movie was released to inform him that Paramount was making a movie about him. Muzikowski sought to enjoin distribution of the film on the ground that it was defamatory. When his efforts, failed, Muzikowski brought suit for damages on claims of both defamation per se and defamation per quod. The district court granted summary judgment for Paramount on both claims, and Muzikowski appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wood, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.