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Dan Rather’s Suit Against CBS Dismissed

September 30, 2009

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The New York Appellate Division has dismissed the remaining counts of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty asserted by former CBS anchorman Dan Rather against his former employee resulting out of his termination in June 2006. Regarding the breach of contract claim, Rather had a “pay or play” provision in his contract, that is, he was paid regardless of whether CBS used his services. Rather claimed that CBS’s failure to use him for over a year hurt his market value. The Court responded that, as long as he was paid, CBS had no obligation to assign Rather to any story.
Rather also claimed that, because he worked for CBS for over 40 years, CBS owed him a fiduciary duty. The Court noted that no appellate decision has ever held that employment relationships create fiduciary duties. The court, therefore, dismissed the complaint in its entirety.
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