Crafton man suing WPXI over photo mix-up
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A Crafton man is suing WPXI-TV over a broadcast story that he claims used his photo when the story was about another man with the same last name.
The story, broadcast Sept. 28, was about a South Fayette teacher and coach who resigned last year over what the school district called "inappropriate" e-mails that landed in the hands of other personnel and citizens in the district.
The plaintiff, Nicholas A. Schepis, filed suit in Allegheny County Court against WPXI, its local cable affiliate, PCNC, and their parent company, Cox Enterprises Inc. of Atlanta.
"Prior to the release of the broadcast, defendants took not even the most basic of action to inquire into the accuracy of their linking of the photograph of plaintiff to the allegations of criminal conduct on the part of Peter C. Schepis Jr.," the suit said.
Peter Schepis is the former substitute teacher and middle school football coach who resigned after the e-mail message, which included text and a nude photo, got the district's attention.
The suit charges the television station with defamation, negligence and invasion of privacy.
The station's General Manager Ray Carter declined to say how the mix-up occurred.
"As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we immediately stopped airing the photo and we issued a correction," Mr. Carter said. "We believe we responded quickly and appropriately."
First Published March 27, 2009 12:00 am