Lawsuit over hit podcast 'S-Town' dropped

Lawsuit over hit podcast 'S-Town' dropped

A lawsuit against the producers of the podcast “S-Town” by the estate of its subject, Alabama horologist John McLemore, has been dismissed.

The two sides reached a settlement in March which was only recently finalized, according to a Birmingham-area CBS affiliate. McLemore died by suicide in 2015, and representatives of his estate argued the 2016 podcast divulged personal details about him without his permission and violated Alabama’s Right of Publicity Act by profiting from his likeness.

Attorneys representing the podcast argued in response that, as a work of journalism, it was not covered by the state law.


McLemore initially contacted “This American Life” reporter Brian Reed, who went on to conduct interviews with McLemore that formed the basis for the show. Executive producer Julie Snyder told CBS 42 she was “relieved” the lawsuit had been concluded, although she did not offer any details of the settlement.

“I’m incredibly relieved to have a resolution to this,” she told the outlet. “I feel like it’s been misunderstood and the conceptions of the lawsuit.

“It was never clear to us what the plaintiff’s argument was,” she added. “We felt we were caught in this netherworld of defending ourselves from something I was not understanding what the argument was.”

Craig Cargile, the executor of McLemore’s estate, wrote that over the course of the lawsuit, he had learned that McLemore was a more active participant in the podcast than Cargile had initially believed.

“As the administrator of the Estate of John B. McLemore, I declare that the estate has no objection or claim to the podcast, nor does the estate have any objection or claim to any future uses of the podcast or the journalistic and creative work relating to John B. McLemore by the defendants or their designee,” he said in a statement, according to CBS42.