Ouch! That's Going to be Costly

The suits at CBS O&O KYW (Philly) might want to get their checkbook out. 

Back in late September Ancho Chris May reported that a school police supervisor at a city charter school was fired over allegations that he sexually abused a boy.

"Howard Rubin is the suspect," May intoned, as Rubin's picture flashed on the screen. "He is accused in the sexual abuse of an underage male student."

Just one problem, Rubin not only was not fired, but he also has not been accused of, nor arrested for, sexually abusing anyone.


"It appears to me that this was a really big mistake on their part and there will be really big consequences," said lawyer Derek Steenson, who filed the lawsuit on Rubin's behalf in Common Pleas Court.

The suit seeking more than the standard $50,000 in damages accuses the station, KYW, of defamation, malice and invasion of privacy.

Since the story aired, Steenson said, someone has thrown a rock at Rubin's car, while a number of people from his Northeast neighborhood have asked him about the news report - and not in a nice way.

"They have a duty to check their facts," Steenson said of the station.

Rubin had been employed at the Multi-Cultural Academy Charter School in North Philadelphia, where his contract was not renewed for the 2014-15 school year. In a letter sent to parents a day after the news report, principal James Higgins slammed the report and said Rubin's departure had nothing to do with misconduct.

"Unfortunately, at least one news agency failed to even contact the school or the police before irresponsibly broadcasting this false story, which we have learned was reported to the news agency by an adversary of Howard Rubin's," Higgins wrote in a letter to parents. 

The station did air a correction and apology the next day on its 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts, and sent a letter to Higgins.

The station still has not apologized to Rubin, Steenson said.

H/T Philly Daily News