CNN, Anderson Cooper Sued for Defamation

John Pacenti
Palm Beach Post

The doctor at the center of CNN’s investigation that led to last year’s closure of the pediatric cardiac surgery program at St. Mary’s Medical Center struck back Tuesday with a remarkable defamation lawsuit against the news network.

cooper
Vanderbilt Scion and News Presenter Anderson Cooper

Dr. Michael Black of St. Mary’s Medical Center has sued CNN for defamation for stories that resulted in the closure of the hospital’s cardiac pediatric surgery program.

Dr. Michael Black’s 200-page lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court alleges rivals – particularly Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital – tried to sabotage the fledgling heart program.

Black, who is still on staff at St. Mary’s, did not specify a dollar amount to be sought at trial except to say he seeks compensation for “reputational and economic harm.”

The real target of the complaint, though, is CNN. Besides lead reporter Elizabeth Cohen, on-air talent and renowned anchor Anderson Cooper is among the defendants.

“Dr. Black’s complaint clearly demonstrates the lengths to which CNN and its reporters are willing to go to grab headlines and promote their ‘Empowered Patient’ brand,” said Libby Locke, one of Dr. Black’s attorneys out of Alexandria, Va., who filed the lawsuit.

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