Judge Sutula to Don Rosenberg: PD didn’t retaliate

Donald Rosenberg
Donald Rosenberg
Franz Welser-Möst
Franz Welser-Möst

In one of the more bizarre twists of the lawsuit by Plain Dealer critic Donald Rosenberg against the newspaper and the Musical Arts Association, reported here, Common Pleas Judge John D. Sutula ruled that

reporter Don Rosenberg’s assertion that the newspaper had retaliated against him for filing a suit against the Cleveland Orchestra and the Plain Dealer should not go before a jury because there were “no material facts to dispute.”

He said that that Rosenberg’s attorney had not shown that there was any adverse effect by the editorial instruction that Rosenberg was not to use the words “Cleveland Orchestra” in his writings for the newspaper. The newspaper’s attorney, David Posner, said, “He was told ‘the reason you can’t refer to the Cleveland Orchestra is that you sued the Cleveland Orchestra.'”

The PD reported that on Monday, August 2, that the newspaper had rested its case in its defense. The newspaper’s editors all testified that Rosenberg’s age (remember that his suit is partially one of age discrimination) never came up in discussions of his reassignment. All were in agreement that the reassignment was a journalistic matter, not one of musical expertise, due to the widely held perception that Rosenberg held a personal vendetta against Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst.

On Tuesday it is expected that the attorneys for Rosenberg, the Plain Dealer and the Musical Arts Association will make closing arguments before the case is turned over to the jury.

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