If you haven’t heard about the lawsuit of Davide Carbone v. Cable News Network, it’s probably because the Trump DOJ hasn’t mentioned it.
Carbone was the chief executive of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based St. Mary’s Medical Center until CNN reported in June 2015 that the infant mortality rate for open-heart surgery there was three times the national average. Reporters for Anderson Cooper’s CNN show aggressively covered the death of babies at the hospital and even went to Carbone’s home in an attempt to get comment. Instead, he closed his garage door on them. Later, he was forced to resign. His defamation lawsuit followed.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans decided there’s enough to move it forward. The plaintiff is disputing how CNN arrived at its infant mortality rate statistic. Carbone alleges that it should have been risk-adjusted, that CNN was doing an “apples-to-oranges comparison” when comparing St. Mary’s Medical Center to the national average.
Before Trump was elected president, most people thought his threats necessitated a federal anti-SLAPP law. Instead, the decision, as it gets appealed upwards, may risk undercutting the existing anti-SLAPP state statutes around the nation.