By CAITY COYNE
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — A federal judge ruled last week that two “CBS Evening News” reports centered on the opioid epidemic did not defame a Mingo County pharmacist.
The summary judgment ruling, granted by U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in West Virginia’s Southern District, killed a $15 million complaint filed in 2017 by Samuel Ballengee, who was owner and pharmacist at Tug Valley Pharmacy in Williamson. In his original suit, Ballengee claimed CBS’ reporting on the opioid epidemic in Southern West Virginia was incorrect and defamatory, and intentionally inflicted emotional distress onto him, among other things.
According to Tuesday’s summary judgement, Ballengee could not prove those claims, and Goodwin found no defamation in CBS’ reporting.
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