Monday, July 13, 2020

Joe West Wins Defamation Lawsuit Against Paul Lo Duca

Umpire Joe West won his defamation lawsuit against former MLB player Paul Lo Duca, a New York court ruling via default judgment that the ex-Mets catcher and Barstool Sports personality's comments during a podcast episode constituted enough proof for the court to determine a viable cause of action exists, namely that Lo Duca allegedly slandered West.

In October 2019, West filed suit against Lo Duca, alleging he and podcast producer The Action Network defamed West during a podcast by falsely claiming as fact that West accepted a bribe in exchange for favorable calls during a Mets game featuring pitcher Billy Wagner, and falsely portraying as fact that West ejected Lo Duca "eight or nine" times during his career.
Related PostJoe West Sues Paul LoDuca Over Bribery Claim (10/22/19).

Following a Close Call Sports Fact Check to the same effect, West's team argued that both claims were defamatory and demonstrably false, citing statistics and box scores indicating West never served as home plate umpire during a game in which Billy Wagner pitched and Lo Duca caught, and that West ejected LoDuca just once during his MLB career—not eight or nine times.

In March 2020, West settled with defendant The Action Network and accused Lo Duca of ignoring the lawsuit. The present court order of July 2020 accordingly removes The Action Network from the lawsuit's caption and finds, via default judgment, that Lo Duca did ignore the suit, which itself was/is viable.
Related PostPants on Fire - Paul Lo Duca's Joe West Accusation (5/10/19).
Related PostJoe West Settles with Action Network, Accuses Paul Lo Duca of Ignoring Lawsuit (3/24/20).

In concluding his remarks and awarding West his victory, New York Supreme Court (County of New York) Judge John J. Kelley wrote ordered the following:
> Default judgment against Lo Duca on the issue of liability.
> Remove The Action Network from the caption (e.g., dismiss in light of settlement).
> Set inquest to assess damages at a later date.

LoDuca's Twitter profile lists his e-mail.
Shortly after the order's issuance, West lawyer Nicholas J. Zaita (who also represents Angel Hernandez in the latter's discrimination suit against Major League Baseball) filed an affidavit of service with the court, attesting that he served Lo Duca with the Decision and Order via e-mail to LoDuca's e-mail address.

Earlier in the case, West's team tried serving Lo Duca several times at his various residences, to no avail, and the court ultimately granted permission to serve Lo Duca at his e-mail address, as reflected on Lo Duca's verified Twitter profile.

The newly titled case of Joseph H. West v Paul Lo Duca will next appear before the court on September 15, 2020, at 9:30am.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Joe West Wins Lawsuit Against Paul Lo Duca (CCS)


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