This article, part 2 of the Catie Clobes v NBC anti-vaccine lawsuit, was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.
Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.
In part 1, I explained the elements of defamation and why Ms. Clobes will likely be a limited-purpose public figure for her lawsuit against NBC. This lawsuit would require her to prove actual malice, which she has neither alleged nor is likely to be able to show.
In this post, I will explain why Ms. Clobes is also unlikely to be able to prove the claims against NBC in the article are false. As a reminder, “Only false statements of fact can be defamatory. Arguments, characterizations, insults, and aspersions can’t be unless they are premised on explicit or implied false statements of fact.” The claims that large parts of the article being opinion and not fact is essentially negating their case. Any parts of the article that are opinions are not defamation.Continue reading “Catie Clobes v NBC – problematic anti-vaccine lawsuit against a journalist, Part 2”