The Second Department affirmed the dismissal of causes of action against media defendants who filmed the execution of a search warrant by the police. Plaintiff was shot during the incident. Plaintiff alleged that the media defendants (including Yates and HBO) had conspired with the police to use excessive force to maximize the entertainment value:
A theory of “[c]oncerted action liability rests upon the principle that [a]ll those who, in pursuance of a common plan or design to commit a tortious act, actively take part in it, or further it by cooperation or request, or who lend aid or encouragement to the wrongdoer, or ratify and adopt his acts done for their benefit, are equally liable with him [or her]'” … . As stated in our prior decision in this action, the liability of HBO and Yates under a concerted action theory “cannot stem from the mere act of filming the NYPD’s use of excessive force” … . Such liability must be predicated on proof that HBO and Yates “formed a common plan with the NYPD to use excessive force in the execution of the warrant, and that such plan created an unreasonable danger to persons such as the plaintiff and was a proximate cause of her injuries” … .
Here, Yates and HBO established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against them by demonstrating that they did not participate, either directly or indirectly, in a common plan or design to commit the allegedly tortious act that caused the plaintiff’s injuries… . Rodriguez v City of New York, 2013 NY Slip Op 08609, 2nd Dept 12-26-13