On July 18, the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed whether a plastic surgeon’s promotional video for the reality TV show “Drastic Plastic,” which was filmed on the plaintiff’s premises, was actionable. As explained below, in Weirton Medical Center v. Introublezone, 2018 PA Super 209, 2018 Pa. Super LEXIS 821 (July 18, 2018), the Superior Court partially upheld and partially reversed a trial court’s decision granting preliminary objections and dismissing claims for defamation, violation of the Lanham Act and trespass. The Superior Court also analyzed whether the trial court erred in requesting that the plaintiff provide it with a video it referenced in the complaint, and erred in relying upon the content of the video as a basis of dismissing the complaint.

The plaintiff was the practice group that employed and provided medical privileges to the plastic surgeon, who was not named as a defendant in the action. The plaintiff sued the production company who recorded and disseminated a promotional video on their premises for defamation, violation of the Lanham Act and trespass, on the basis that the promotional video was filmed on its premises without its approval and that it damaged its reputation. The defendants filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer, seeking dismissal of the defamation and Lanham Act claims. The defendants also sought the dismissal of the trespass claims on the basis that the physician had apparent authority to permit the filming of the video and that filming the video caused no damage to the medical facility.

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