Major League umpire Joe West was awarded $ 500,000 in damages and interest on July 8 in a defamation suit against former All-Star catcher Paul Lou Duca.
New York Supreme Court Justice John J. Kelly released her decision on Monday in a lawsuit filed in October 2019 against Lou Duca and The Action Network. The network had been rejected since last July, when Kelly made a motion by West for a default judgment against Lou Duca.
West said that on April 18, 2019, Lou Duca said during a podcast on The Action Network that he had been evicted 15 times during his major league career and that eight or nine had been committed by West.
West’s suit claimed that Lou Duca stated during the podcast that when the player was catching Billy Wagner during the New York Mets game against Philadelphia in 2006 or 2007, West called three straight batters on strike. The umpire said Lou Duca claimed that Wagner had told him the reason he received a call was that the pitcher allowed West to drive his 1957 Chevy.
West’s suit stated that Lou Duca was fired from West eight times and only once in his career. The umpire denied any partisanship and said that Wagner did not pitch only in a Mets-Phillies game that West worked behind the plate during 2006 and 2007.
“The court credits the plaintiff’s testimony that one’s integrity and character are the primary measures that apply to an umpire’s or player’s assessment of quality and, thus, the idea that he or she will be given for election, and induction, the hall of In Fame, ”Kelly wrote. “The plaintiff expressed a reasonable concern that, if Hall of Fame voters credited Lou Duca’s false claim about his integrity and character, he could not be selected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame because of other reasons. Whether or not the outstanding players ‘Nirbal’ Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, and Barry Bonds were also elected.
“He also expressed concern that it would be difficult to completely improve his reputation, especially because a special committee of baseball officials and former players selected by Hall of Fame directors to select umpires to join the Hall of Fame Is responsible for. “
The 66-year-old West is the senior league senior umpire. He made his debut in 1976, becoming a full-time staff member two years later and beginning the season with 5,345 games to break Bill Klemm’s career record of 5,370 later this year. The judge said that West intended to retire at the end of this season.
“Given the wide spread of derogatory statements on this issue, the nature of the statement, and the legitimate concern that the plaintiff faced in relation to the possibility that he would not be elected to the Hall of Fame because of the statement, the court concluded that The plaintiff is entitled to a $ 250,000 award for past mental anguish and emotional distress, ”Kelly wrote.
Kelly added an additional $ 250,000, which he said is “a reasonable amount to compensate the plaintiff for expenses based on expert testimony that would allow him to maintain a public reputation firm and operate an adequate reputation treatment plan” Will need to be bound. “
Kelly said West did not establish that he would lose attendance and endorsement income due to Lou Duca’s statements.
A four-time All-Star from 1998–2008, Lou Duca played in the major leagues.