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(...somebody needs PR rehab...)
New York Judge Issues Ruling Favoring Vijay Singh
By Torleif Sorenson on 2/20/14
(Cue the obligatory soap opera music...)

The Vijay Singh deer antler spray kerfuffle has taken a new turn — mostly against the PGA Tour. It was a year ago in January when the story first broke, but on April 30, Singh was let off the hook by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. Just one week later, Singh filed a lawsuit against the tour.

Now, New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten has dealt the PGA Tour a defeat; the judge issued an a la carte ruling allowing Singh's argument that the PGA Tour has treated differently other golfers involved in doping episodes. It amounts to a partial denial of the Tour's motion to dismiss Singh's lawsuit.

"The court finds that [Singh] has sufficiently pled a cause of action for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing."

Justice Bransten also sided against the PGA Tour's claim that Singh was not entitled to legal relief after signing the Tour's membership renewal, which the Tour says included an agreement to the anti-doping program.

“Membership renewal forms addressing arbitration and waiver of judicial review do not provide a basis for dismissing the remaining causes of action. [Singh's] lack of recourse under the terms of the program further supports the conclusion that the doctrine of judicial noninterference is inapplicable."

The PGA Tour's EVP of communications (and former LPGA Tour Commissioner) Ty Votaw refused to comment on the case, but Singh's attorney, Jeff Rosenblum, did talk to Golf Channel afterward:
"We thought it was a good ruling. It sent a message that the Tour will be dealt with for not acting in good faith. Our strongest argument is that the Tour acted in bad faith. I have to read the ruling, but the main thing is Vijay will have his day in court.

"We are in the process of moving forward with the case and we think we can move forward swiftly with the discovery process. This just isn't
[sic] a victory for Vijay, but we feel it is a victory for all Tour players."
Singh claims that the PGA Tour new of other players who used deer antler spray, but did not attempt to punish them. If Singh and Rosenblum can prove this in their discovery process, then the case could get very ugly for the PGA Tour.

Stay tuned.

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Image via Flickr, TourProGolfClubs

[ comments ]
Duke of Hazards says:
I know how firsthand how expensive bad faith judgments can be. The PGA Tour will get spanked hard.
slimpks1850 says:
Oh deer.
legitimatebeef says:
I know VJ has a shady past, what with the allegations of cheating and unpaid hotel bills, friendships with convicted ponzi-schemers; then there was the pointless bullying of Annika Sorenstam for playing the Colonial on a sponsor's exemption, then that whole "Tiger Who?" debacle... but I still stand by the guy. Stick it to the man.
jcstoll says:
I'm sure the fine points of the law escape me, but does VJ's argument here amount to "the PGA should've embarrassed other players in addition to just me"? It's like the guy who gets pulled over trying to argue his way out of a ticket by pointing out that other people were speeding, too. Except in this case, he didn't actually get a ticket because they increased the speed limit after he was pulled over. Now he's trying to sue the cop for pulling him over. Bizarre.
Duke of Hazards says:
@jcstoll - It has less to with Vijay and more to do with the attorneys that Vijay consulted with finding something and then salivating over the fat paycheck they're gonna get when the PGA Tour gets slammed with a punitive judgment.

This is mostly a victory for Jeff Rosenblum.
DougE says:
Singh claims that the PGA Tour new of other players who used deer antler spray...

That would be 'knew.' (Can't help myself.)
falcon50driver says:
I new someone besides me would notice that.
[ post comment ]
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