Fox sued for $7 million by judge who lost his job thanks to erroneous report

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Fox sued for $7 million by judge who lost his job thanks to erroneous report

Fri Jun 04, 2010 @ 10:11AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

FoxnewslargeAn Illinois judge is suing Fox Television after a local Chicago affiliate took aim at the lazy work habits of some of the state's judges.

The collaborative investigation by Fox Chicago News and the Better Government Association led to the reassignment of four judges, including James Ryan, a Circuit Court Judge in Cook County.

But now, in a defamation complaint filed on Wednesday against Fox, the Better Government Association, and various individuals who worked on the broadcast investigation, Judge Ryan says that Fox made a big error in its May 24th report.

The report claimed that the judge left work early and went home while still on the clock. To show this, the station showed his alleged vehicle in the driveway of his alleged home.

One problem.

It wasn't his vehicle nor his home. The judge says he wasn't even at his real home.

Immediately afterwards, the judge called the news desk at Fox and advised them of the error. According to the complaint, Fox News co-anchor Robin Robinson apologized for the error and said it was "our bad."

The judge now wants $7 million as a result of the defendants' allegedly intentional, willful and malicious conduct. 

We couldn't find the original story on Fox' website, but we found this follow-up report earlier this week looking at the scandal that lead to the reassignment of judges. No mention is made of the purported screw-up. (We've reached out to members at the station and will update if we hear anything.)

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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