NEW YORK — A New York state Supreme Court judge Monday limited the scope of Dan Rather's $70-million lawsuit against CBS Corp., tossing out his claims that the network committed fraud and unlawfully interfered with his contract in his final months at the news division.
But Justice Ira Gammerman allowed Rather to proceed with his claims that CBS broke the terms of his contract and breached its fiduciary duty by sidelining him in the wake of a controversial story about President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard.
The ruling "allows us to prove everything we need to prove to a jury," said Martin Gold, Rather's lead attorney. "I think the breach-of-contract claim is essentially a slam-dunk."
That point was vigorously disputed by lawyers for CBS, who cast the judge's decision as a victory for the network, which had asked the court to dismiss three of Rather's four remaining claims. The judge threw out two of them and also dismissed the complaint against Viacom, saying the corporation could not be held liable for the actions of CBS, from which it split in 2006.