Dan Rather’s lawsuit stays dismissed


New York’s highest court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of Dan Rather’s $70 million lawsuit against his former employer, CBS.

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court (the state’s trial level court) had ruled last September that Rather’s lawsuit should be dismissed in its entirety. That short-circuited the case, which had been set to go to trial.

Rather had appealed to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, which has now ruled against him as well.

The former CBS News anchor had claimed that CBS broke his contract and committed fraud by pushing him out of the anchor chair after his involvement in reporting a controversial story in 2004 about then-President George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era service in the National Guard. As soon as the piece aired on “60 Minutes,” numerous observers questioned the authenticity of documents cited in the report. CBS News admitted that the documents could not be authenticated and the network ordered an independent investigation into how the piece got on the air.

Rather claimed that his career had been damaged and he was forced to take a lower paying job at Mark Cuban’s HD Net. But the court ruling last September said that was just speculation and found that “Rather continued to be compensated at his normal CBS salary of approximately $6 million a year until June 2006 when the compensation was accelerated upon termination, consistent with his contract.” That dismissal has now been upheld in a brief summary order by the state’s highest court.