A federal district court in Arizona has applied the wire service defense in at least one case. In In re Med. Lab. Mgmt. Consultants v. Am. Broad. Cos., Inc., 931 F. Supp. 1487, 1492 (D. Ariz. 1996), the court held that the defense applied to an ABC-affiliate in Phoenix that broadcast an edition of “Prime Time Live” but played no part in the planning, reporting, production, or editing of the broadcast.
Retraction or Correction
By statute in Arizona, the type of damages a plaintiff may recover from a newspaper, magazine, or radio or television broadcaster can be limited by the publication of a retraction. A.R.S. § 12‑653.02 provides:
In an action for damages for the publication of a libel in a newspaper or magazine, or of a slander by radio or television broadcast, the plaintiff shall recover no more than special damages [i.e. damages with respect to the plaintiff’s property, business, trade, profession or occupation] unless a correction is demanded and not published or broadcast, unless the plaintiff shall prove the publication or broadcast was made with actual malice. The plaintiff shall serve upon the publisher at the place of publication, or broadcaster at the place of broadcast, a written notice specifying the statements claimed to be libelous and demanding that the same be corrected. The notice and demand shall be served within twenty days after actual knowledge of the plaintiff of the publication or broadcast of the statements claimed to be libelous.
If a correction is demanded within the time period prescribed by A.R.S. § 12‑653.02 and a correction is not published or broadcast within three weeks, the plaintiff may recover damages for loss of reputation and punitive damages if she can prove actual malice. A.R.S. § 12‑653.03.