Two brothers allege defamation in a 'Dr. Phil' episode
(CNS) Posted Wednesday October 6, 2010 - 12:35pm
Two brothers who allege they were defamed in a "Dr. Phil' episode about Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba cannot have their case transferred to a courtroom dealing with legally complex cases, a Los Angeles judge tentatively ruled today.
Superior Court Judge Ramona See said lawyers for Deepak and Satish Kalpoe did not persuade her that the case requires exceptional judicial management usually reserved for large class-action suits tried in a courthouse west of downtown.
"Plaintiffs may be Aruban citizens, but without more, that does not prove this matter is complex,' See wrote in her tentative decision.
See is scheduled to hear any further arguments on Thursday before issuing a final ruling.
The brothers' attorneys argued the case is complex because of its international connections, including the need to question witnesses who live in Aruba.
They also cited the large number of documents filed.
However, the judge said there are only 2,000 pages of documents and that the trial is scheduled for Feb. 11.
The Kalpoes filed their $800 million lawsuit in December 2006 against Phil McGraw and CBS, maintaining their reputations were damaged in a Sept. 15, 2005, "Dr. Phil' show that alleged they drugged the 18-year-old Alabama college student and raped her.
The brothers contend the "Dr. Phil' episode implied they helped kill Holloway and dispose of her body. They also sued on allegations of invasion of privacy, emotional distress, fraud, deceit and civil conspiracy.
Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., was vacationing with friends on the Caribbean island resort when she vanished the night of May 30, 2005.
Aruban authorities in 2008 cleared the Kalpoes of any involvement in her disappearance.
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