Judge denies ESPN request to dismiss Fine libel suit
ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge has denied a request by ESPN to dismiss a libel suit filed by the wife of former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
Laurie Fine accused the sports cable television network of libel and slander in its coverage of child-molesting allegations against her husband. The lawsuit, filed in May 2012, claims the network’s coverage was grossly irresponsible.
ESPN’s lawyers argued the reporting by Mark Schwarz and producer Arthur Berko shouldn’t be the subject of a libel suit because the information was based on official proceedings, including police department documents.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn indicated he couldn’t determine if ESPN’s reporting was "fair and true."
Bernie Fine was fired in November 2011, days after the broadcasts aired. He was not charged.