Cerullo brought the suit after being fired from KAKE in 2013 for reporting and later tweeting that the defendant in a story he had been covering had pleaded guilty to murder when he had actually pleaded not guilty. Cerullo later made an on-air correction.
“I am extremely disappointed that Judge Henderson dismissed the defamation claim, which was the bulk of my case, instead of allowing a jury to look at the facts and decide for themselves whether or not Sipes did, in fact, defame my character,” said Cerullo.
Cerullo was seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages in his defamation and breach of contract suit.
He told TVSpy he “provided the judge with numerous electronic communications in which Sipes told concerned viewers that I lied about the events surrounding my termination, that I had a history of inaccurate reporting, and that this wasn’t this first time that I had been reprimanded for doing so.” He added, “All of those things are patently false and destroyed any chances I had of getting another similar job in television.”
“We were obviously pleased that Judge Henderson granted our motion for summary judgment and dismissed two of Mr. Cerullo’s three claims and limited the scope of his remaining claim in a manner that evidently led to Mr. Cerullo’s decision to dismiss his case,” Dan Wall, GM of the Wichita ABC affiliate, said in a statement. “We felt our position in the law suit was correct and our attorneys were preparing to try what was left of the case. At no point did we make any offer to settle the case.” Read more