|By Chris Marshall, Courthouse News Service 3/28/2102
The Greater LA Council on Deafness can proceed with a lawsuit claiming CNN violated the civil rights of 100,000 deaf Californians by failing to include captions on videos posted to its website, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge Laurel Beeler rejected CNN's motion to strike allegations from the complaint.
CNN claimed the allegations arose from CNN's newsgathering activities and dissemination of news concerning matters of public interest, and that the plaintiffs could not establish probability that they would prevail on their claims.
But Beeler held that CNN's decision not to caption its videos was not an act in furtherance of its First Amendment rights.
CNN had moved to strike the claims under California's anti-SLAPP statute, which allows for early dismissal of claims that are designed to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights.
A defendant must make a "threshold showing that the challenged cause of action arises from acts in furtherance of defendant's right of free petition or free speech under the United States or California constitutions in connection with a public issue," Beeler wrote. "'If the court concludes such a showing has been made it determines if plaintiffs have shown a probability they will prevail on their claim,'" Beeler wrote, citing Equilon Enters. v. Consumer Cause, Inc., 29 Cal. 4th 53, 67 (Cal. 2002).
For the full article with the response from GLAD and the judge’s view of CNN’s arguments at: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/28/45100.htm