Judge narrows wrongful death suit against Weather Channel
U.S. Senior Judge Sam Cummings has dismissed claims against nine corporate entities named in a $125 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit due to not having jurisdiction over them; the case - stemming from a deadly crash involving two television personalities - still appears ready to proceed against The Weather Channel and the estates of the two broadcasters.
Judge Cummings found the nine "out-of-state defendants" don't do enough business in Texas for his court to take action on the case.
Court records indicate trained weather spotter Corbin Jaeger, 25, died a few miles west of Spur in Dickens County in a crash with two employees of The Weather Channel. Kelley Williamson, 57, and Randy Yarnall, 55, also died in the crash. They were all reporting on a tornado in the area.
Jaeger's mother claimed Williamson and Yarnall were so wrapped up in broadcasting, streaming and talking on the phone they blew through a stop sign and collided with Jaeger's vehicle. The mother's attorney said The Weather Channel ignored many warnings about its storm chasers' driving.
Di Piazza's original lawsuit claimed CF Entertainment, [nc., Entertainment Studios Networks, Inc., Entertainment Studios Media, Inc., Entertainment Studios Media Holdings, Inc.,NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Bain Capital Investors, LLC, The Blackstone Group, Inc., TV Holdings l, LLC, and TV Holdings 2, LLC, were all involved in the operations at The Weather Channel, enough to be liable for negligence and Jaeger's wrongful death.
Along with a lack of jurisdiction, Judge Cummings also found Di Piazza failed to connect those corporate entities to her claims in the lawsuit, and dismissed them from the case. Remaining as defendants are The Weather Channel (Weather Group Television), Weather Group, LLC, TV Spinco, LLC, and the estates for Kelley Williamson and Randall Yarnall.