When WHEC Weatherman Jeremy Kappell uttered the words "Martin Luther coon King park" the station took swift action to fire him.
Kappell took a bit of time to say he was sorry and then enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame as he went on a number of radio shows and TV programs to talk about his ordeal.
It is a good bet, if Kappell would have just said he was sorry and said it was a mistake that he will never make again, he would likely be working at another station.
But, Kappell decided to get defensive, point out the fact that others have done the same thing (some were fired, some were not) and then milk his new found fame.
It appears that he has not found another job in TV news and has now decided to sue his old station for defamation.
Kappell has filed the suit against WHEC, its owner Hubbard Broadcasting and the WHEC general manager, Richard Reingold for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The weatherman’s attorney’s said in the suit filed in Monroe County Court that the statement released by WHEC General Manager Richard Reingold following the incident amounts to defamation.
Kappell’s lawyers said that Reingold’s statement directly attributed the racial slur to their client, “representing to the world that Kappell had intentionally uttered a racial slur. In doing so, Reingold defamed Kappell,… ” according to the lawsuit obtained by WHAM.
Kappell is seeking a jury trial and an unknown monetary judgement.
WHEC responded to their ex-employee’s lawsuit in a statement, saying “We are disappointed that Mr. Kappell has taken this step, and are prepared to defend our decision to the fullest. Because this matter is now in the courts, we will have no further comment.”
Suing your old station is another step that will make it harder for Kappell to land another decent job in TV news.
It is likely that his words were a mistake, but his actions since have been even a bigger one.
H/T Fox News