Monday, March 29, 2010


NYLJ 6/20/07


1. If you arrived at training camp with a busted finger, unable to fulfill your umpteekazillion-dollar contract, your employers might ask a question like: how did that happen? This is not out of politeness, understand. Then, your reply of “slipped on a banana peel” or “hauling a rope on my yacht” or I don’t remember” would give one pause. For real. And not out of sincere care for health and well-being. Sorry. Nope, it is the inevitable insurance carrier’s concern: does the injury come in under the heading of unfortunate circumstance or, possibly, sound in callous disregard of liability for specific performance?

Oh yes, and when dealing with such weighty matters, that would be the end of it, wouldn’t you think?

No, the other big ticket controversy sounds in an accusation of defamation, without malice aforethought, maybe. The libel wouldn’t be part of that issue though. The NY Post reporter could allege that the superstar Knick had put his fist through a bulkhead on his boat, based upon 2 eyewitness accounts, and the action against said scribbler would still be on difficult grounds, even if there weren’t previous pieces in print to establish a pattern of pugnaciousness. As certain proof of same, even a pro-basketball player—with obvious anger-management issues—is just as likely to go down without a fight.

“Assuming, arguendo, that defendant’s statements regarding how plaintiff injured his hand, and his alleged attempt to cover up the incident are false, the Post and reporter are entitled to summary judgment in dismissal. The information was not reported as incontrovertible fact, but rather cautioned the reader of the two allegations, mentioning as well the denial by the plaintiff, that the reporter demonstrated, to the satisfaction of editors, and this court, that he had good reason to trust the personal testimony of his informants based upon their demonstration of knowledge of the yacht’s interior, providing additional indicia of authenticity.

“You then only have to add in the calls to plaintiff, agent, publicist, personnel on the team and three doctors to conclude that the due diligence of a reporter was not overlooked, even if you were to call it ‘sensationalist’.”

And that’s a slam dunk! Swoosh…

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