John Oliver, HBO, Time Warner and the writing team behind Last Week Tonight are being sued by Republican coal baron, Robert E. Murray.
The lawsuit, which was filed in West Virginia, alleges that the show "executed a meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character of and reputation of Mr. Robert E. Murray and his companies" in an episode that aired on Sunday the 18th of June.
To really hammer home the effect the segment had, Murray's lawyers claimed that the show "did this to a man who needs a lung transplant, a man who does not expect to live to see the end of this case."
The lawsuit is certainly not unexpected, with Oliver himself predicting it would happen in the episode in question. Murray has sued several media outlets recently, most notably the New York Times in May. He sent Last Week Tonight its first ever cease and desist letter after they contacted him before the show aired.
During the segment, Oliver blasted Murray for not doing enough to protect miners' safety. In particular, the comedian attributed the collapse of one of Murray's mines in Utah to unauthorised mining practices. Murray had blamed this on an earthquake.
“Because Defendant Oliver omitted any mention of the other reports he was aware of that evidenced that an earthquake caused the collapse, as Mr. Murray correctly stated following the collapse, Defendant Oliver’s presentation intentionally and falsely implied that there is no such evidence,” the complaint outlined.
Via The Daily Beast