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Old 12-28-2016, 10:26 PM   #1
JamesG
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Default Update: Burke Ramsey Settles Lawsuit w/ CBS over "The Case Of" Docu-series

JonBenét Ramsey’s Brother Sues CBS for $750M Over Program That Pegged Him as her Killer
by Erik Pedersen
December 28, 2016



Three months after CBS aired its true-crime docuseries The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey, the slain girl’s older brother is suing the network for $750M over the program that laid blame for the killing on him.

Burke Ramsey, who was 10 when his 6-year-old beauty queen sister was found dead in the family’s Boulder, CO, home at Christmastime in 1996, also is suing production company Critical Content and a number of consultants involved with the program.

Saying his reputation was destroyed by the three-part program, he is seeking $250M in compensatory damages and twice that in punitive damages.

When contacted by Deadline, CBS had no comment on the suit, which was filed today in a Michigan court.





The lawsuit claims CBS and its team of experts planned to conduct a “sham reinvestigation” of JonBenét’s death with “the preconceived the story line” that Ramsey killed the girl and conspired with his parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, to cover it up.

The accusation that Burke Ramsey killed his sister was based on a compilation of lies, half-truths, manufactured information, and the intentional omission and avoidance of truthful information about the murder of JonBenét Ramsey,” the lawsuit says.





In October, Burke Ramsey filed a separate $150M suit against Dr. Werner Spitz, who appeared on The Case Of giving an interview to CBS Detroit in which he said of Burke’s involvement in the killing:

If you really, really use your free time to think about this case, you cannot come to a different conclusion.





The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey reunited the original investigators in one of the highest-profile unsolved murders in recent history to re-examine the tragic case 20 years later.

The docuseries was among multiple TV projects this year about the infamous case, including Lifetime’s original movie Who Killed JonBenet? and Investigation Discovery’s JonBenét: An American Murder Mystery.

There also is a feature in the works titled Casting JonBenét, directed by Kitty Green and produced by James Schamus’ Symbolic Exchange.

http://deadline.com/2016/12/jonbenet...es-1201876593/

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Old 12-29-2016, 07:47 AM   #2
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I mean they outright accused him of killing her and then lying/not caring about it, so I'd want to sue them too.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:47 AM   #3
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I think his appearance on the Dr. Phil Show was much more damaging. All the smiling gave me the creeps.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:48 PM   #4
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I'm not surprised he's suing, either. I didn't see the docuseries when it aired, but I've heard enough about it to know that some pretty bold conclusions were drawn.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. The only defense to a libel action that I am aware of is the truth. If CBS can somehow prove that Burke is the true killer of Jon-Benet, then I believe CBS would be absolved from liability. I don't know how you defend yourself from a claim like this otherwise. You can't just go on air, before an audience of millions, and declare someone a murderer.

I predict a settlement in an undisclosed amount...
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:16 PM   #5
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I'm not surprised he is suing them, but I'm sure CBS and everyone else associated with the program ran it all by their legal team(s) to see what their course of action would be if and when he sued them.

I don't think Burke will want this to go to court.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:05 PM   #6
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I also have not seen these particular CBS shows, but I am reminded of how careful UM always seemed to be about this particular issue. I feel like they often went out of their way to point out that so and so had not been charged with any crime, or there was no proof that XYZ organization had done anything improper. Several examples come to mind right away- "Larry Monroe" in the Don Smith segment, Kemper Group in the Gene Flannes segment, and the Seafarer's Union in Nancy Manni segment.

I suppose you could argue that this was done for style as well as legal concerns, meaning to have the effect of heightening the mystery by not spelling out conclusions for the audience. Often they simply laid out a theory or two (or three) and let the viewers try to make up their own mind- Eric Tamiyasu comes to mind immediately.

It's hard for me at the moment to clearly separate UM segments from the CBS run to see if this changed much from the NBC days, but in any case, I'm certain the CBS legal department gave these JBR shows a close look before they were aired. But who knows what the outcome here will be.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:07 PM   #7
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I cannot say that I saw this coming, but I don't like the idea of a ten year old being pegged for his siblings death.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hambone2421
I'm not surprised he is suing them, but I'm sure CBS and everyone else associated with the program ran it all by their legal team(s) to see what their course of action would be if and when he sued them.
I completely agree with this. Hence my comment about the settlement. There's a really good chance the legal team said, "Yeah. We're gonna get sued, but it's gonna be worth it."

I'd be interested to see how much money CBS made off of airing that docuseries. I suspect the settlement, when reached, will be nowhere near the $750 million he's asking for. I'd guess somewhere between 1 and 10 million.
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LooksLikeCRicci
I completely agree with this. Hence my comment about the settlement. There's a really good chance the legal team said, "Yeah. We're gonna get sued, but it's gonna be worth it."

I'd be interested to see how much money CBS made off of airing that docuseries. I suspect the settlement, when reached, will be nowhere near the $750 million he's asking for. I'd guess somewhere between 1 and 10 million.
Wow. You can call me naive or any other name in the book, but my mind doesn't usually work that way. What you're suggesting does make sense, but again, wow.

So we've waded into ethical waters. The possibility of CBS intentionally committing a legal wrong knowing that the penalty for doing so will be less than the profit of doing so? It's been done before- back in the 2000's Microsoft paid a substantial daily fine to the EU for violating their anti-trust laws and kept doing so because their profits supported it.

I honestly don't know what to say, other than I'd like to think these journalistic endeavors weren't subject to the same temptations as the ordinary cut-throat businesses. But they've got to eat too, I guess.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:06 PM   #10
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I guess journalistic integrity is a thing of the past. The Boulder Police Department has openly stated that Burke Ramsey has never officially been a suspect. On top of that, there isn't any physical evidence that links him to his sister's death. I hope he takes CBS to the cleaners. It's time for Burke to "call Saul" on this one.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdr369
I cannot say that I saw this coming, but I don't like the idea of a ten year old being pegged for his siblings death.
Again, while I am not an expert on the Ramsey case, I still raise an eyebrow about all the speculation regarding Burke. I'm not going to rule out the possibility that he may have done it, but you have to give me more substantial than "He acts weird." As someone on the Autism Spectrum, I too, have bad social skills, tend to not know how I come off to other people and am often scripted, so I am a bit sensitive to the "He acts weird; therefore, he must be guilty," defense. Give me something more solid than that, something that puts Burke at the scene or proves that he is the only one who could have killed his sister.

Because I have a hard time believing that a kid with such bad impulse control and so much trouble managing his feelings, that he accidentally murders his sister at age ten, that he would manage to stay completely out of trouble in subsequent years, not even racking up so much as a parking ticket, seems more than just a little far-fetched.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:15 AM   #12
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I don't pretend to know who committed the murder, but most of the "evidence" against the Ramseys consists of "Patsy smirked during that interview: GUILTY!" or "There was a book on skinning cats in the Ramsey house and a cat was skinned in the neighborhood the year before the murder: GUILTY!" type of garbage that people appear to just make up. If the family did it, they covered it up pretty well in a short period of time and stuck to their story all these years, including a 9 year old child. That is pretty impressive.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gidgetgrape
I think his appearance on the Dr. Phil Show was much more damaging. All the smiling gave me the creeps.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordwainer1453
I don't pretend to know who committed the murder, but most of the "evidence" against the Ramseys consists of "Patsy smirked during that interview: GUILTY!" or "There was a book on skinning cats in the Ramsey house and a cat was skinned in the neighborhood the year before the murder: GUILTY!" type of garbage that people appear to just make up. If the family did it, they covered it up pretty well in a short period of time and stuck to their story all these years, including a 9 year old child. That is pretty impressive.
Wasn't really that hard to cover it up considering the police incompetence & the families wealth/standing in the community meaning they had some level of immunity. Seriously, a crime scene with random people/neighbours walking around, one of the people in the house allowed to find the body & handle it/interfere with evidence.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hops3098
So we've waded into ethical waters. The possibility of CBS intentionally committing a legal wrong knowing that the penalty for doing so will be less than the profit of doing so? It's been done before- back in the 2000's Microsoft paid a substantial daily fine to the EU for violating their anti-trust laws and kept doing so because their profits supported it.
It's gone far beyond that. Automobile companies used to intentionally roll out model after model that they knew were unsafe, and would lead to unnecessary fatalities. They did so because their internal investigations revealed that the cost of settling the death-related lawsuits was actually lower than the cost of altering the design, to relocate a fuel tank, for example.

A young Ralph Nader brought that atrocity to attention in his landmark book, "Unsafe at Any Speed." He found corporate memos detailing estimates of number of deaths compared to estimates of changing the design. Only at that point did people begin paying attention, and congress took action.

Every time I hear the word deregulation I have to cringe. I guarantee there are similar examples out there now and in the future. Corporate greed. I worked for enough companies to hear many backroom conversations from ownership, and specifically Jack Binion at the Horseshoe. Let's be kind and say his priorities were hardly doing the right thing or following the law. He'd get drunk in the sportsbook office and describe all the unethical actions he not only planned to take, but was excited about pursuing.
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