Plaintiff's Status as a Consideration in Misrepresentation and Promissory Estoppel Cases Against the Media
Journal of Media Law & Ethics, Vol. 2, Nos. 3/4, p. 215, Summer/Fall 2010
28 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2012
Date Written: August 1, 2010
False statements or unfulfilled promises made to news sources can be a source of legal liability for news organizations for fraudulent misrepresentation and promissory estoppel. Both torts require the plaintiff to have reasonably relied upon statements made by the defendant, among other elements. Unlike libel and privacy torts, however, there is no formal inquiry as to the status of the plaintiff. This article examines the effect of imposing an inquiry as to the status of the plaintiff in relation to the defendant or the circumstances in newsgathering cases. The article argues that such an inquiry should be required and finds that it could significantly change the jurisprudence concerning false statements made by journalists.
Keywords: media, press, journalism, promissory estoppel, fraud, newsgathering, misrepresentation, reasonableness
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