Pippen’s attorneys tried to make the case that the act did not apply to websites, but the judge disagreed.
While Illinois courts haven’t considered how the single-publication rule applies to information online, the judge wrote “our job is to predict how the state’s highest court would answer the question if asked.”
Excluding the Internet from the rule would “expose online publishers to potentially limitless liability,” the ruling said.
“Pippen does not contend the defendants took any action beyond initially posting the stories to their websites, and we conclude that Illinois would deem the passive maintenance of a website not a republication,” according to the ruling.
Neither Pippen’s attorneys nor the Chicago Bulls immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. An attorney for NBCUniversal declined to comment.