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Judge dismisses coal company suit against HBO’s John Oliver

UPDATED: Sat., Feb. 24, 2018

Comedian John Oliver performs at the 11th Annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit Nov. 7, 2017 in New York. A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against HBO host  Oliver brought by coal company Murray Energy. (Brent N. Clarke / Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)
Comedian John Oliver performs at the 11th Annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit Nov. 7, 2017 in New York. A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against HBO host Oliver brought by coal company Murray Energy. (Brent N. Clarke / Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)
Associated Press

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy against HBO host John Oliver.

A segment of Oliver’s Sunday show “Last Week Tonight” in June poked fun at Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who blames regulatory efforts by the Obama administration for damaging the coal industry. Oliver said the 77-year-old looked like a “geriatric Dr. Evil.”

A Circuit Court judge in Marshall County, West Virginia, ruled on Wednesday that Murray’s company failed to state a claim. The two-page ruling from Senior Judge Jeffrey Cramer was posted online by the Hollywood Reporter.

The Ohio-based company was seeking financial damages and a court order barring rebroadcasts of the segment’s “defamatory statements.”

HBO had argued the show didn’t violate Murray Energy’s rights or those of Murray.

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