Fox 4 KBTV dismissed from Renaissance Hospital defamation suit

David Yates Apr. 3, 2012, 5:19am

Fox 4 has been dismissed from a defamation suit brought by the owners of Renaissance Hospital in Groves.

As previously reported, S&E Healthcare Groves Operations filed a defamation suit against Fox 4 and its website,, on Dec. 12 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the media outlets targeted the company with "adverse publicity."

In its suit, Renaissance accused the Fox station of airing and posting several stories that continue "to defame and libel" the company, but fails to cite the specific libelous content.

Court records show that on Jan. 17 Fox 4 answered the suit, taking special exception to the fact that the plaintiff's suit failed to specify which statements were false and defamatory.

Rather than continue litigating, Renaissance filed a motion to dismiss without prejudice on Feb. 13. The motion does not give a reason for the dismissal.

Nonetheless, Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, granted the motion on Feb. 24, dismissing the defendants without prejudice, court papers say.

Over the past few months, Fox 4 has reported that Renaissance employees have been unable to cash their paychecks, allegedly because hospital owners lacked sufficient funds in their bank account. The stories have included interviews with former employees that were shown on the air and posted on the station's website.

"Many of these statements are false, and are defamatory," the suit states. "As a proximate result of the torts committed by these defendants ... plaintiff has sustained ... loss of revenue, loss of business, loss of good will and loss of reputation."

Beaumont attorney John Morgan represents Renaissance.

Houston attorney Patricia Hair of the Phelps Dunbar law firm represents the defendants.

Case No. A191-455

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