America is a country of great freedom and great frivolous lawsuits. Perhaps the most frivolous of all frivolous lawsuits was filed last year by Yankees fan Andrew Rector. In July 2014, he sued ESPN, MLB, the Yankees, et. al. for being televised falling asleep at a Yankees game. Oh, and the defamation lawsuit was for TEN MILLION DOLLARS. At least Rector was being reasonable in his demands.
Let’s relive the video clip, shall we?
I’m sure this will shock and amaze you, but after clogging up the legal system for a year, Rector’s lawsuit was mercifully thrown out by a New York City judge.
Via The Smoking Gun:
A New York City judge has dismissed the $10 million defamation lawsuit filed by a New York Yankees fan shown on ESPN sleeping in the stands during a game last season against the rival Boston Red Sox, court records show.
In a July 2014 complaint, Andrew Rector alleged that he was disparaged during the broadcast of an April 13 game from Yankee Stadium. Rector, 27, sued Major League Baseball, the Yankees, ESPN, and announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
During the fourth inning of the ballgame, an ESPN camera showed Rector sleeping in his second-row seat in the ballpark’s lower level. Shulman referred to the snoozing fan as “oblivious,” while Kruk commented that the stadium was “not the place you come to sleep.”
While Rector’s lawsuit alleged that he was subjected to an “unending verbal crusade” by the ESPN duo, the assorted putdowns referred to in the complaint actually appeared in the comment sections of online articles about Rector nodding off during the game. Two comments cited in the lawsuit referred to Rector as a “fatty cow that needs two seats” and a “confused disgusted and socially bankrupt individual.”
In a decision issued last month, Judge Julia Rodriguez ruled that Shulman and Kruk made none of the nasty comments attributed to them in Rector’s complaint, adding that “none of the comments actually made by the announcers” was defamatory or false. Rodriguez added that, “At worst, the announcers’ comments might be considered to be loose, figurative or hyperbolic statements which are not actionable.”
In addition to throwing out the lawsuit, the judge should have demanded that the fan receive a stern lecture from Jonathan Papelbon as additional punishment for what he did.