Sore Losers|A Look Into The World Of Crazy Sports Lawsuits

As you all know, professional sports are made up of the top athletes from across the country, each representing the best talent that their respective sport has to offer. The sad reality is that most of those athletes don’t make it to the big leagues in their sports, and while some of these athletes choose to take their failure in stride, others get litigious. Today’s example of the latter–Garrison Lassiter.

According to a Bleacher Report article, Lassiter filed a $34 million lawsuit against the New York Yankees that was dismissed last May. In his lawsuit, Lassiter alleged that the Yankees and former shortstop (and future Hall of Famer) Derek Jeter conspired against him in order to keep him from competing with Derek Jeter for the shortstop position. 

Lassiter represented himself in the suit, and claimed that he was suing the Yankees for the “interference and lost years” of his baseball career. Included in the lawsuit, were Lassiter’s claim that he had to live in his car after spending the $675,000 signing bonus the Yankees gave him, and letters that Lassiter had written to other MLB teams including one that read: “I cannot get on the field due to the New York Yankees trying to control my career. I’m the only Baseball Player that will stand up to the New York Yankees.”

While this may come as a surprise, Lassiter’s suit isn’t the only seemingly outrageous lawsuit in sports. In fact, the sports world has graciously provided us with many entertaining lawsuits from fans, players, and sometimes sports franchises themselves. 

According to The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans Saints fan, David Mancina, filed a class-action in October 2012, seeking damages in excess of $5 million on behalf of himself and New Orleans Saints season-ticket holders. The lawsuit against the NFL and Roger Goodell alleged fans purchased tickets “expecting the Saints would be capable of competitively fielding a contending team comprised of the finest athletes, and the best coaches, under contract… or available to them through normal trades and draft choices, without dictatorial, unreasonable, vindictive, and unfounded, interference.” The case was dismissed by a judge in January of 2013. 

In addition to lawsuits like these, cases involving conspiracy-theory-esque type claims also happen in the NBA. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, in January 2013, a Miami Heat fan sued the San Antonio Spurs. Larry McGuiness, a lawyer, sued the Spurs claiming that head coach Gregg Popovich ‘intentionally and surreptitiously sent their best players home without the knowledge of the league, the team and fans attending the Nov. 29 game in Miami.” He claimed that the Spurs and Popovich violated Florida’s deceptive and fair trade practices law by sending Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, and Danny Green home to rest. McGuiness later came to his senses and filed a notice to voluntarily dismiss the case. 

Last, but most certainly not least, in April of 2013, a Chicago Bulls fan sued the team claiming that Derrick Rose’s long absence “caused him to have mental breakdowns and emotional distress, leading to obesity issues,” per Bleacher Report. The fan in question, Matthew Thompson, even claimed that Rose was negligent by not opting to return immediately after being cleared to play by doctors, presumingly leading to more mental dismay and weight gain by Thompson. 

The world of sport is never deprived of controversy and, apparently, crazy lawsuits. While this has been an entertaining blog to write, and I hope that you were also entertained if you’ve managed to read it in its entirety, these are not the only outlandish lawsuits in the sports industry, and certainly will not be the last. Cheers to the sports industry for providing us with endless entertainment, in whatever form it may come.

50+ | The Catholic Diocese Sexual Abuse Crisis Continues

Last week, a former Dallas priest was arrested after being accused of molesting several children in the 1980s. Richard Brown, among the 31 priests on the “credibly accused” list the Dallas Catholic Diocese released in January of 2019, was wanted on the charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child. The arrest warrant was issued last Tuesday and Brown was taken into custody at approximately 7 pm that following Wednesday.

Brown, who has been formally removed from the clergy, served at several churches in North Texas, including St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Philip, Holy Family of Nazareth, Our Lady of the Lake, and St. Mark the Evangelist.

Brown was arrested at a property 30 miles southwest of St. Louis, owned by the Servants of Paraclete. The Servants of Paraclete maintain that site as a “safe and supportive environment for the rehabilitation and reconciliation of priests and religious brothers.” The site also houses six registered sex offenders, according to Missouri’s sex-offender registry.

Brown, along with four other priests, was at the center of an investigation by the Dallas police into abuse allegations and obtained a search warrant to raid indecent offices in May of last year. . Two diocese officials contacted Detective David Clark last September, urging him to find and arrest Brown, and informed the police that according to Brown’s attorney, he was with relatives in Delaware at the time.

The DFW chapter of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commented that “This case is yet another example that belies the claims of church officials that the sexual abuse crisis is in the past […] Sadly, children continue to be put at risk in parishes across the country because church officials themselves refuse to be open and transparent with parishioners, the public and law enforcement about allegations of clergy sexual abuse.”

So, when did this all start? In 1994, Brown was forced out of Our Lady of the Lake when a young woman told church leaders that Brown had abused her in 1981. Once the accusations emerged, Brown underwent therapy and served in adult-only ministries. Even though the diocese concluded that Brown had abused someone, he continued to work as a priest in New York, managing the Trinity Retreat Center for clergy.

Even though the spokesperson only addressed one victim, Brown’s personnel file, which the diocese released to the police prior to last year’s raid, showed that Brown admitted to molesting two children. When Detective Clark finally reached Brown in Pecos, New Mexico, he identified victims who hadn’t been mentioned in his personnel profile, detailing that he had sexually abused as many as 50 children. It should be noted that Brown was not investigated, nor prosecuted for any sexual abuse against children.

Here at Forester Haynie, we are actively working to support victims of clergy abuse. As we speak, we are submitting claims in both California and Colorado. If you or a loved one has been abused by a member of the clergy, know that we are here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at any time at 214-210-2100 to speak to one of our attorneys. We understand that privacy and discretion are of the utmost importance in cases such as these, which is why we are proud to offer free and confidential case evaluations.

A World Without Flavors

In recent news, the Trump administration recently announced that they plan to place a partial ban on e-cigarette pods. California lawmakers also plan to place restrictions on e-cigarette vaping products, however, these restrictions will prove to be even more strict than the administration’s. On January 6th, 2020, these lawmakers produced a proposal to ban all flavored vape pods. They rest on the position that the pod flavor options are the reason that vaping has become so appealing to minors in the U.S., a position that many citizens also hold. The proposed bill, Senate Bill 793, would entirely prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarette pods/cartridges, as well as ban flavors on traditional combustible tobacco. The lawmakers have cited surveys and studies, establishing that at least five million middle school and high school students have used an e-cigarette within the last 30 days.

However, the proposed legislation will face significant pushback from e-cigarette companies such as Juul, who have contributed roughly $388,000 campaign dollars. Juul has been facing legal pressure in the past few months, due to claims that the company was specifically targeting young people based off the design and advertising of their products. In response to this, Juul made efforts to change their image, and claim that their product is not being marketed to minors. The new bill banning all flavored vape products will have a massive effect on e-cigarette companies’ sales, as the flavored pods are Juul’s bestsellers.

The state of California currently prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing vape products, as well as e-cigarette devices. Restrictions as to which stores are authorized to sell e-cigarette products is said to have helped lower the amount in which minors are able to consume these products. While both the administration and the California state government feel that a complete flavor ban would be best to stop minor consumption, health groups are split on whether or not a complete ban is the best course of action. Their concerns are that once all flavors are banned, citizens will revert back to using traditional combustible cigarettes, which negates the reason that e-cigarettes were designed: to help users slowly lower their consumption of traditional cigarettes. The pending legislation will continue to be argued as legislators and health groups work together to come up with the best overall solution for the youth vaping epidemic.

If you or a loved one have suffered from the alleged harmful effects of Juul, give us a call at 214-210-2100 or fill out the contact form below.

The Ketchup Bottle Incident

In recent news, a San Antonio River Walk hotel is being sued after a mother witnessed a glass ketchup bottle hit her son on the head, causing serious injuries. The mother is currently suing the hotel’s parent company for gross negligence, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.

So, how did a falling ketchup bottle turn into a million-dollar lawsuit? Well, the story begins in August 2018 when Cassandra De La Cruz was taking a stroll along the San Antonio River Walk with her then two-year-old son Jacob, who was in a stroller at the time of the accident. Suddenly, a glass bottle of ketchup fell from a balcony at the Omni La Mansión Del Rio, striking Jacob on the head.

According to the reports, guests staying on the fifth floor of the hotel were eating their room-service burgers on the balcony, when one of the guests accidentally bumped into the food cart, causing the bottle to fall from the balcony. A witness backed up De La Cruz’s account and helped hotel managers identify which balcony the bottle had fallen from.

The lawsuit claims that the toddler had suffered serious injuries to his neck and brain, as well as other parts of his body. The injuries “have already impacted his health and wellbeing,” the lawsuit reads. The complaint does not provide details about his injuries or the nature of the treatment he has undergone but notes that Jacob “may continue to suffer into the future, physical pain and mental anguish.”

De La Cruz, who is being represented by an attorney within the practice of Thomas J. Henry, has named the local hotel, parent company Omni Hotels & Resorts and owner TRT Holdings, all of which are Texas-based companies. The lawsuit also named Eric McCoy, one of the guests that caused the incident by not being able to keep the ketchup bottle from falling.

McCoy has claimed that he tried to grab the bottle before it fell off the balcony, and even went downstairs to make sure no one was hurt. De La Cruz alerted hotel employees and police responded to the scene. Officers reassured De La Cruz that the incident was an accident and that this incident wouldn’t be filed as a criminal report.

Nevertheless, De La Cruz is suing Omni La Mansión Del Rio for $1 million in damages. The lawsuit also holds the hotel responsible for keeping pedestrians safe from objects that could fall off a balcony.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, give us a call at 214-210-2100 for a free, confidential case consultation.

Save Our Grandparents!|New Legislation Introduced To Reform Hiring Practices In Nursing Homes

A new piece of legislation before Congress would expand nursing homes’ ability to perform detailed background checks on potential employees. The passing of the legislation could improve hiring practices in nursing homes in an effort to reduce elder abuse.

The initiative — known as the Promote Responsible Oversight & Targeted Employee Background Check Transparency for Seniors (PROTECTS) Act — would increase access to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) for Medicare and Medicaid providers, a system that allows firms to perform background checks on potential employees. There have been several studies that find that states who spend more on background checks for front-line workers have a higher quality of care.

Provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the database verifies that potential hires do not have a history of malpractice. Families need to trust that when a loved one is living in a long-term care facility, they will be safe and cared for. Unfortunately, there have been far too many reports of abuse in these facilities.

Many states already require applicants for nursing home jobs to undergo a criminal background check, including Florida. For example, Todd Barket applied for a job as a certified nursing assistant in a Florida nursing home in late 2018. As a result of a new background check requirement for nursing home employees, he was arrested when his fingerprints linked him to a decades-old murder. After his fingerprints were processed, they matched prints entered as evidence in the killing of a 68-year-old woman in in Delray Beach, Florida in 1998.

Authorities apprehended Barket at his home, charged him with murder, thus reigniting a case that had been cold for many years. Florida is one of 26 states and the District of Columbia that now require criminal background checks for potential employees. This requirement stemmed from the National Background Check Program which was authorized by the 2012 Affordable Care Act.

The PROTECTS Act could potentially discourage current employees from attempting patient neglect and abuse, while also discouraging prospective employees with criminal records from applying to nursing home jobs. Additionally, the Act may encourage nursing homes to be more vigilant in their human resource practices. If you think you or a loved one is a victim of elder abuse, contact Forester Haynie at or give us a call at 214-210-2100.

If you think you or a loved one is a victim of elder abuse, contact Forester Haynie at or give us a call at 214-210-2100.