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Judge dismisses coal company suit against HBO’s John Oliver

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2017 file photo, comedian John Oliver performs at the 11th Annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit in New York. A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against HBO host John Oliver brought by coal company Murray Energy. A segment of Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight” in June poked fun at Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who blames regulatory efforts by the Obama administration for damaging the coal industry. Oliver said the 77-year-old looked like a "geriatric Dr. Evil." A Circuit Court judge in Marshall County, W. Va., ruled on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 that Murray’s company failed to state a claim. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File)

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy against HBO host John Oliver.

A segment of Oliver’s Sunday show “Last Week Tonight” in June poked fun at Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who blames regulatory efforts by the Obama administration for damaging the coal industry. Oliver said the 77-year-old looked like a “geriatric Dr. Evil.”

A Circuit Court judge in Marshall County, West Virginia, ruled on Wednesday that Murray’s company failed to state a claim. The two-page ruling from Senior Judge Jeffrey Cramer was posted online by The Hollywood Reporter.

The Ohio-based company was seeking financial damages and a court order barring rebroadcasts of the segment’s “defamatory statements.”

HBO had argued the show didn’t violate Murray Energy’s rights or those of Murray.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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