What About A-Rod’s Other Lawsuit?
Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz and his panel issued an arbitration decision on January 11 resulting in Alex Rodriguez’s suspension for the entire 2014 Major League Baseball season. A-Rod vowed to appeal the decision in Federal Court, but what some may not know is that the beleaguered slugger already has a pending case against MLB regarding his steroid feud.
Rodriguez vs. MLB, Allan Huber “Bud” Selig was filed on November 26, 2013 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York following its removal from State Court by MLB. The Complaint alleges that Commissioner Bud Selig and other MLB officials have engaged in a systematic campaign of tortious interference in A-Rod’s existing business contracts and prospective business relationships. Specifically, A-Rod is alleging that MLB:
- Obtained evidence against A-Rod by filing a sham lawsuit to commandeer subpoena power.
- Leaked false stories to the press concerning A-Rod’s performance-enhancing drug (PED) use.
- Bribed witnesses with more than $200,000 to cooperate with their case.
- Impersonated security officers and threatened former ballplayers to receive testimony.
The case may not be a slam dunk for A-Rod, but it surely has a better chance of succeeding than his appeal of Horowitz’s arbitration decision. After all, A-Rod’s attorneys at Reed Smith LLP haven’t been the only detractors of MLB’s media blitz against A-Rod. But if the evidence against A-Rod was procured illegally and the conduct of MLB was malicious, why did the arbitration panel roundly rule in their favor? It’s possible that the panel was not concerned with the issue. On pages 27 and 28 of the arbitration decision, Horowitz noted that the panel would not rule on the alleged breaches of confidentiality and they did not have any power to enjoin third parties from breaching provisions of MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement (the arbitration decision, along with A-Rod’s appeal, can be found here). Considering Tony Bosch, MLB’s main witness, testified in the arbitration hearings, Horowitz may not have needed to consider the implications concerning other bribed witnesses.
Regardless of the outcome, the pending litigation should be interesting. The arbitration process had its fair share of fireworks, and if it goes to trial, his tortious interference case could be the grand finale.
Andrew Blancato (@BigDogBlancato) holds a J.D. from New York Law School, and is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When he’s not writing, he is either clerking at a trial court in Connecticut, or obsessing over Boston sports.
Featured image courtesy of [Keith Allison via Flickr]