John Oliver Wins Defamation Lawsuit Against Coal King

John Oliver Wins Defamation Lawsuit Against Coal King

Murray originally called for a cease and desist, but when Oliver made a decision to continue on with his jokes-comparing him to a "geriatric Dr".

Judge dismisses coal company suit against HBO's John Oliver: A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy against HBO host John Oliver.

Oliver targeted Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray during a segment last June that blasted his company and criticized the standards of the coal industry at large.

The (rather hilarious) lawsuit did not come as a surprise to HBO. Oliver's team had reached out to Murray for comment on the segment before it aired, to which he reportedly sent him a "cease and desist" letter with a threat to pursue legal action. "I know you are probably going to sue me, but you know what, I stand by everything I said", he said, addressing Murray through his show.

HBO argued Murray failed to state a claim for defamation, claiming the serious portions of the segment were based on judicial opinions and government reports while the humorous jabs at Murray's age and appearance was satire that can't be proven false.

We really can not offer up too much of an opinion one way or another on the subject of Oliver's comments about Murray - we're not in the coal industry and haven't researched it in the same intensive way that the show's writers have.

After the case was remanded to West Virginia, HBO and Partially Important Productions filed two motions for dismissal, one on the grounds that Oliver's statements are protected by the First Amendment, and the other claiming the court did not have jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, Oliver pointed out, the company tried to block a rule aimed at reducing miners' risk of black lung, and, as determined by the U.S. Labor Department, committed numerous safety violations that contributed to a 2007 mine collapse that killed nine.

He then brought out a squirrel mascot called Mr. Nutterbutter who told Murray, via an enormous voided check, to "eat shit, Bob" and "kiss my ass".

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