Thanks for this excellent, informative post!
From what I have read, it all boils down to two things:
1. Has Consumer's Union finally crossed the line between reviewing products with a journalistic eye for the facts of the matter and that of making headline-grabbing statements for the purpose of increasing their income at the expense of a product it has reviewed?
Various medias, including both Print and broadcast, have over time been threatened with legal action for publishing the true facts of important matters in our society. Nearly every time the media has won the battle thus permitting the public access to information that affects us to our great benefit and loss.
However, winning 99% of the battles against the censoring of the Fifth Estate does not guarantee the Fifth Estate (in this case Consumer's Union) will win them all.
The appeals courts have spoken. Enough of the appellate judges believed that, based on the evidence presented by both sides, a jury could actually rule in favor of <nobr>Suzuki
</nobr> after considering the facts.
That's fancy legal talk for Consumer's Union does not have enough of a case to claim that, by going to court, the protection of the media to report facts, no matter how damaging they may be to someone or something (a government, corporation, etc), will be compromised in all future cases of this nature.
2. Once the facts are presented to a jury in a court of law, commonsense will reign and Consumner's Union will be held accountable for their acts.
The case will stand as a message to the media that <font color="red"> First </font color>Amendment Rights to freedom of expression indeed does not mean that you can yell "Fire" at the top of your lungs in a crowded theatre when there is no fire. Even if you are Consumer's Union.
PS: Thank you Yankee Tim for pointing out my glaring error (now corrected and highlighted in red). The Fifth Amendment covers Double Jeopardy, Self Incrimination and Due Process.
I stand corrected.