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Nickell v. Linton

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland

February 24, 2015

DAVID ROBERT NICKELL, Plaintiff,
v.
KATHERINE LINTON, Individually and in her official capacity as Producer for Linton Media, LINTON MEDIA, INC., MTV and VIACOM, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HENRY R. WILHOIT, Jr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court upon the Defendants' Joint Motion to Dismiss Complaint [Docket No. 10]. The motion has been fully briefed by the parties [Docket Nos. 12 and 16]. For the reasons set forth herein, the Court finds that dismissal is not warranted at this juncture.

I. BACKGROUND

This case arises from Plaintiff David Robert Nickell's participation in a reality documentary program titled MTV True Life: I'm Addicted to Pills. In his Complaint, Nickell alleges:

[O]n or about July 24, 2013, the Defendant Katherine Linton fraudulently induced [him] to illegally purchase a quantity of controlled substance and provide this to Cortney Howard, and cause this to be recorded and then aired on national television.

[Complaint, Docket No. 1-1, ¶ 8].

Nickell further alleges that the Defendants made certain representations to him, which were intended to induce his reliance. These representations are alleged in the Complaint:

[I]t would be better for the TV show if you brought pills from someone and if you snorted the pills.... [I]t would be better for the TV show if you took the child with you while Plaintiff and Cortney Howard crushed and used these controlled substances in the presence of the minor child.... Plaintiff would not be in any trouble for purchasing these controlled substances.

Id., ¶¶ 11-14.

Nickel further alleges:

Defendant Katherine Linton, Linton Media Inc., MTV, and Viacom acted in concert with another and fraudulently induced Plaintiff into committing this illegal act that caused Plaintiff to be prosecuted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and caused him to lose his fundamental constitutional right and caused him to be incarcerated for a period of over seven months in the Carter County Detention Center.

Id. at ¶ 8.

Nickel filed this lawsuit against Katherine Linton, individually and her official capacity as a Producer for Linton Media, Linton Media, Inc. ("Linton Media"), Viacom Media Networks (formerly known as MTV Networks), a wholly owned division of Viacom International Inc. (sued herein as "MTV" and referred to hereinafter as "VMN"), and Viacom Inc. (sued as and referred to hereinafter as "Viacom") (collectively referred to hereinafter as "Defendants") in Carter Circuit Court. He alleges two causes of action, fraud in the inducement and international infliction of emotional distress, and seeks monetary damages. The Defendants removed the matter to this Court upon the basis of diversity ...


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