'Storage Wars' lawsuit limited

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   March 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM   |   Comments

March 13 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles judge threw out part of "Storage Wars" star Dave Hester's lawsuit, claiming A&E and the producers rigged the competitive auction show's outcome.

LA Superior Court judge Michael Johnson ruled with A&E and producer Original Productions, tossing the claim of unfair business practices from the five-claim suit.

A&E filed an anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) motion against Hester's claim that the show committed "interference and manipulation of the outcomes of the auctions shown" and made him appear less skill full than his competition.

Johnson agreed with A&E, saying that unfair competition only relates to commercial speech, and "Storage Wars" falls under expressive speech and is protected by the First Amendment. Johnson said he could not rule what A&E could or could not program on their network.

Hester's claim of wrongful termination was also dismissed, but will be allowed to be revived should Hester come up with more specific provisions within the law -- the Communication Act of 1934 -- A&E supposedly violated in firing him.

The suit's other claims include breach of contract and good faith. Hester brought the suit against A&E on December after he was fired.

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