Last month, a New York judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit that former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer filed against Deadspin and its managing editor, but it appears the former Cy Young winner is fighting that decision.
According to a report from USA Today, Bauer has submitted a notice of appeals in the defamation case signifying his intent to continue his fight against Deadspin as well as its editor, Chris Baud.
Bauer was accused of domestic violence and sexual assault in 2021 and eventually filed six defamation lawsuits – including suits against Deadspin and Baud – over details in the initial media coverage as well as statements made by the accuser and her lawyer.
In Bauer’s lawsuit against Deadspin, he claims that he was defamed by initial reports that the woman’s skill had been fractured during their sexual encounter, as the outlet’s reports surrounding the woman’s request for a restraining order included a doctor’s observation of symptoms consistent with a skull fracture. However, a CT scan included in court documents ruled out a fracture.
Bauer claimed that the possible skull fracture was “self-reported” by his accuser, but U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty did not agree with that characterization in his dismissal of the defamation suit.
“The Petition and accompanying medical records indicate that, following (the woman’s’) encounter with Bauer, a doctor — (not the woman) herself — diagnosed her with ‘significant head and facial trauma’ and symptoms of a basilar skull fracture, including ‘raccoon eyes’ and a ‘Battle’s sign,’ which are observable indicators of a potential fracture,” Crotty wrote. “Those symptoms were not merely ‘self-reported,’ but based on a physician’s initial examination and observation of (the woman). This means that the true bridge between the contested Statements — (Bauer) fractured (the woman’s) skull as diagnosed by an initial CT scan-and reality — (Bauer) caused (the woman) facial trauma that a doctor initially diagnosed as symptoms of a skull fracture — is small enough to render the ‘gist’ or ‘sting’ of the statements unchanged.”
The judge also noted the Deadspin article in question did not misrepresent the allegations or the doctor’s assessment that were included in the request for a restraining order and noted that whether or not a skull fracture occurred was largely irrelevant to the reader’s perception of the events.
“Whether those injuries included a skull fracture or simply ‘significant head and facial trauma’ and bruising does not change the nature of the accusations,” Crotty wrote, “nor would it produce a different effect on the mind of the reader.”
It’s clear the Bauer will continue to fight these charges as he attempts to clear his name. Bauer was never charged with a crime, but has not pitched in a Major League Baseball game since the allegations. In January, the Dodgers parted ways with Bauer and he is currently attempting to revive his baseball career by playing in Japan.