Netflix is being sued over its documentary trying to prove Steven Avery did not commit murder. But in doing so they defamed Andrew Colborn, who aided in the investigation by accusing him of manufacturing evidence.
Netflix also allegedly withheld facts from their audience that would have proved his guilt. Colburn has now filed a defamation lawsuit against Netflix. Netflix tried to get the case thrown out but it appears that the judge is not on their side.
Judge Brett Ludwig took Netflix to the woodshed. They attempted to force discovery on Coburn before they were legally entitled. Netflix is probably sweating bullets right about now, convinced they will lose this case.
Judge Ludwig ruled:
“As this Court has already ruled in denying Netflix’s first motion to dismiss and in rejecting Netflix’s opposition to Colborn’s motion for leave to file the Second Amended Complaint, his latest pleading adequately and plausibly pleads these elements, including actual malice.”
“Having failed to convince the Court of the inadequacy of Colborn’s allegations, Netflix shifts gears and offers a series of arguments for rejecting Colborn’s claims as a matter of law. These latest contentions fail foremost because they are rife with factual assertions and would require the Court to make inferences (if not flat-out factual findings) in Netflix’s favor, turning the motion to dismiss standard on its head,” the ruling states,” Ludwig wrote.
“Whether Colborn can muster sufficient evidence for a jury to find that Netflix and the other defendants defamed him with ‘actual malice’ remains to be seen. But until the summary judgment record is complete, it would be improper for the Court to resolve this issue.”
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The next move is up to Netflix. They now have to respond to Coburn’s updated complaint.
Here is what Netflix left out of their documentary:
- Parts of Halbach’s body were found burned in Avery’s fire pit.
- Evidence of Avery’s involvement was found inside his home.
- There is DNA evidence tying the bullet found in the Avery garage to Halbach.
- Avery was the last known person to see Halbach alive.
- Police found her car, with blood on it and in it, left on the Avery family’s lot.
- Avery’s high-school age nephew, Brendan Dassey, confessed that he had assisted his uncle in murder of Halbach. [Harsanyi acknowledged the police acted inappropriately while “questioning” Dassey.]
That’s a lot of evidence to leave out. How many would have thought Avery was innocent if this had been included, which I’m guessing is just the point.