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ANYANWU v. CBS

June 14, 1995

TONY ANYANWU, Plaintiff, against COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC., et al., Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT W. SWEET

 Sweet, D.J.

 Defendants CBS, Inc. ("CBS"), Ed Bradley ("Bradley"), Andy Rooney ("Rooney"), and Mike Wallace ("Wallace") (collectively the "Defendants"), have moved pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) to dismiss the complaint of Plaintiff Tony Anyanwu ("Anyanwu") for failure to state a claim as a matter of law. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted. In addition, Defendants moved for sanctions pursuant to Rule 11. As set forth below, that motion is denied.

 The Parties

 Pro se Plaintiff Anyanwu, an attorney, is a Nigerian citizen domiciled in New Jersey.

 Defendant CBS is a New York Corporation engaged in the business of information broadcasting, including the production and broadcasting of "60 Minutes," a weekly news and public affairs magazine show.

 Defendants Bradley, Rooney and Wallace are CBS employees affiliated with "60 Minutes."

 Prior Proceedings

 An initial complaint, based on diversity jurisdiction, was filed in this action on December 24, 1994. An amended complaint (the "Complaint") was filed on February 8, 1995.

 The Complaint, filed on behalf of Anyanwu and all Nigerians engaged in international business with United States citizens, alleges three claims against Defendants arising out of statements made on a 60 Minutes broadcast that was aired on December 11, 1994. These claims include: 1) libel; 2) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and 3) negligence for failure to adequately investigate the allegations made about Nigerians.

 Plaintiff seeks 1) an injunction prohibiting this segment to be rebroadcast; 2) a public apology from Defendants; and 3) damages, including, punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

 The present motions were filed by Defendants on February 16, 1995. Both parties briefed the issues and oral argument was heard on April 5, 1995 at which time the motions were fully submitted.

 The Facts

 Plaintiff's contentions which are taken as true for the purposes of a motion to dismiss are as follows:

 
... Nigerians engaged in international business with United States citizens are fraudulent and deceitful ... Nigerians engaged in international business with United States citizens have defrauded United States citizens of One Billion Dollars... United States citizens should not do business with Nigerian business persons engaged in international business with the United States because they will defraud ...

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