50 Car Dealers Sue ‘Newsday’ in Circulation Scandal

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By: E&P Staff

Fallout from the circulation scandal at Newsday of Melville, N.Y., continues with reports today that 50 car dealers had filed a lawsuit against the newspaper and parent Tribune Co. for overcharging on advertising rates, given the actual circulation numbers.

Lawyer for the plaintiffs, Leonard A. Bellavia of Mineola, N.Y., also charges that Newsday has added insult to injury by refusing to adjust the rates the car dealers are paying today, even though the paper has admitted circulation shortfalls. “The clients are outraged,” he told The New York Times, “at finding out what has happened over the past several years, made worse over how they’re being treated today.”

The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Islip, N.Y., on Wednesday, seeks $25 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages.

A Newsday spokesman said he had no immediate comment because the company had not yet been served.

The dealers, many of them family-owned, also charge that the rates they paid were far higher than those for some larger car dealerships, and say this violates federal antitrust laws because Newsday is easily the dominant paper on Long Island.

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