Media Can Argue Truth Defense In Texas Defamation Case

Law360 (January 23, 2020, 6:18 PM EST) -- A trial court wrongly failed to consider the truth of an article when it declined to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against ProPublica Inc. and the Houston Chronicle, a Texas appellate panel ruled Thursday.

The First Court of Appeals said a Harris County District Court should have considered the news organizations' argument that their reporting was "substantially true" before ruling on whether to dismiss the defamation claims brought by leading heart transplant surgeon O.H. "Bud" Frazier. But the appellate court said it can't render judgment in favor of ProPublica and the newspaper because the trial court must consider those defenses first....

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