Judge restores Dan Rather suit

Alleges breach of contract against CBS, Viacom

A New York judge who previously dismissed Dan Rather's $70 million lawsuit against CBS and Viacom has restored the claim.

Rather sued CBS and its former parent two years ago, alleging he was made a scapegoat in a scandal over his reporting of a story in 2004 that was critical of President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Rather eventually was removed as anchor of "CBS Evening News" and claimed in his suit that CBS breached his contract by not giving him enough on-air assignments. But New York State Supreme Court Judge Ira Gammerman dismissed it because of technical errors.

Gammerman on Tuesday allowed Rather to refile, ruling that the lawsuit -- which previously also named Sumner Redstone, Leslie Moonves and former CBS News president Andrew Heyward -- can move forward.

CBS said it would appeal the ruling. The network said in a statement late Tuesday that “the rulings by Judge Gammerman were on technical and procedural issues, not on the merits of Mr. Rather's allegations.”

The statement added that CBS was “confident that Mr. Rather's re-pleaded fraud claim will be dismissed once the court reaches the actual merits. We also await the appellate division’s decisions on pending motions which, we believe, will further curtail his claims.”