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Following is a report from the Arizona Trial Reporter re a recent lawsuit here in Arizona wherein a local dealer sued a radio talk show host, J. Gordon Liddy (who was one of the Watergate folks back in the 70's).

The local dealer lost, a defense verdict, but an eleven day trial. One of the defense attorneys is A. Melvin MacDonald, a former U.S. Attorney for Arizona who has also defended many prominent folks like Charles Keating.


Judge Cari A. Harrison CV 98-000129 - Sound Environments, Inc. dba Jerry's Audio/Video, and Kowitz (Kraig J. Marton of Jaburg & Wilk, P.C.) v Liddy (A. Melvin MacDonald, Jr., and Robert R. Berk of Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C.) - DEFAMATION - TRADE LIBEL - FALSE LIGHT.

Prologue: In December, 1996, Dfnt purchased a home theater system from Plntfs. Dfnt elleged the problems with the installation, were caused by Plntfs' installers. Plntfs alleged Dfnt exaggerated the problems, and the few problems that did occur were caused by Dfnt's adult son, who interfered with the installation and tampered with the system.

Plntf Kowitz, owner of Pltnf Jerry's Audio/Video, alleged Dfnt damaged his reputation, when Dfnt claimed during Dfnt's January 6, 1997 nationwide radio broadcast, that Plnt company "botched" the installation of a $4,500.00 audio system, at Dfnt's home. Plntf Kowitz also alleged Dfnt stated during the broadcast that Plntf company "didn't know how to install anything", and Pltnf Kowitz "couldn't install himself on a toilet". Plntfs alleged Dfnt's comments were false, and defamatory. Dfnt, male, age 72, a radio broadcast host, denied liability, advancing the defense that his comments were true. Dfnt also argued Plntf Kowitz's reputation was not damaged. Plntfs sought damages for reputation damages, plus lost profits. (Plnts planned to call Stephen M. Evans, C.P.A., but was precluded from doing so, due to untimely disclosure.) Plntf company called its bookkeeper, who was of the opinion Plntf company's sales were negatively affected by Dfnt's radio broadcast.

Prayer: Just and reasonable compensatory damages. Plntfs made a pretrial demand for arbitration (per P) - Dfnt refused to make an offer (P & S Berk). Eleven day trial. Jury out six-plus hours, over a two-day period

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