The defendant broadcasting company leased its facilities to a commercial advertising corporation for the transmission of a series of sponsored radio programs. During the course of one of these broadcasts a comedian, employed by the advertiser, suddenly interpolated an extemporaneous remark, "That's a rotten hotel," in reference to plaintiff's hotel. A script for each program was prepared in advance, submitted to the defendant for approval, and followed exactly by the performers. The interjection in question did not appear in the script and had not been made at rehearsal. Plaintiff brought trespass for defamation, and from a judgment on a verdict for the plaintiff, defendant appealed. Held, the court below erred in failing to direct a verdict for defendant, since defamation by radio constitutes a new tort to which the rules of absolute liability employed in the field of libel and slander are inapplicable. Summit Hotel Co. v. National Broadcasting Co., (Pa. 1939) 8 A. (2d) 302.
Michigan Law Review,
LIBEL AND SLANDER - DEFAMATION BY RADIO - ABSOLUTE LIABILITY OF BROADCASTING COMPANY,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol38/iss3/19