Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Brunson Communications, Inc. v. Arbitron, Inc.
The plaintiff owned a small independent television station. Defendant purported to measure the number of viewers watching each television station in the market area at any given time, but in fact did not measure the viewers watching the plaintiff’s station. This led to biased or erroneous information. Defendant published this erroneous information about the number of viewers to advertising agencies, advertisers, television stations and other media sources, representing that the data were incomplete and accurate. Plaintiff sued for commercial disparagement, alleging that Defendant’s false statements as to the accuracy and completeness of its test surveys caused substantial pecuniary loss to plaintiff, in that prospective advertisers would conclude from the data that plaintiff’s viewership was so insignificant as not to warrant either inclusion in the survey or recognition of the exclusion. The defendant moved to dismiss and the court granted the motion.
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