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Veilleux v. National Broadcasting Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
206 F.3d 92 (2000)
Alan Handel, Fred Francis, and National Broadcasting Company (NBC) (defendants) produced and broadcast an edition of Dateline NBC about trucking-industry practices. NBC asked Ray Veilleux (plaintiff), a Maine trucking-business operator, if NBC could document a trucker on a cross-country delivery for the show. Veilleux agreed to participate after confirming that the program would positively depict the trucking industry and would not feature the group Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT). At the time of the promise to Veilleux, NBC knew the program would focus on the dangers of overextended truck drivers and had already filmed PATT representatives to use in the program. NBC accompanied Veilleux’s employee Peter Kennedy on part of a delivery drive. Kennedy admitted to NBC during filming that he violated regulations, falsified logs, and used drugs. The aired program prominently featured Kennedy and portrayed Veilleux as tolerant of his drivers engaging in unsafe practices. Interviews with PATT members whose children were killed by unsafe truck drivers were also featured in the show. Veilleux filed various claims against NBC, including misrepresentation, in federal court and was awarded $150,000 in pecuniary damages attributed to the Dateline NBC broadcast. NBC appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Campbell, J.)
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