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Fergus Falls dealership appealing dismissal of defamation lawsuit against TV station

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — A Fergus Falls auto dealership is appealing a federal court's decision to dismiss the dealership’s defamation lawsuit against a Twin Cities TV news station.

Nelson Auto Center filed the defamation suit against KARE11 in December 2017, alleging that the station published false and misleading statements in stories about a former dealership employee accused of overcharging law enforcement agencies.

The employee, Gerald Worner, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft by swindle for double-billing more than 200 Minnesota law enforcement agencies, including the Moorhead Police Department and Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Worner was sentenced in July to 30 days in jail and five years of supervised probation.

The appeal of the defamation suit, filed in October, remains in the hands of the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Nelson Auto is looking to overturn the lower court’s decision.

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