Wow! Talk about a blast from the past.
Pennsylvania's Superior Court has breathed new life into the all-but-dead civil suit brought by former KYW (Philly) Anchor Alycia Lane against the station and onetime coanchor Larry Mendte.
The decision, filed late last week, clears the way for Lane's case against Mendte and the CBS O&O to proceed to a trial, and revives a long-running saga with details that have fueled gossip pages and produced reams of legal filings for years.
"We're back," Lane's attorney Paul R. Rosen sing-songed in an interview Friday, giving his best Poltergeist impression. "Finally, Alycia Lane is entitled to her trial against CBS."
Lane alleges CBS was negligent for failing to stop Mendte when he hacked into her work and personal e-mail addresses, and spread messages and photos to gossip columnists.
In its opinion Thursday, the court found that Common Pleas Court Judge Allan L. Tereshko erred when he threw out Lane's case in 2012, finding that she had intentionally destroyed a laptop containing e-mails and photos critical to the station's defense.
The appellate court ruled that lawyers for CBS3 and Mendte had not proved that the documents they said were missing ever existed.
Even if they did, Superior Court found, the laptop they were stored on was not crucial to the case. Since the supposedly missing e-mails were allegedly sent on cloud-based services, Lane's destroyed laptop was not necessary to access them.
Mendte pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges stemming from the e-mail intrusion and was sentenced to six months' house arrest and probation.