Friday, February 4, 2011

Judge Tosses Clemens a Curve in Defamation Case

Roger ClemensImage via WikipediaIn the same week that his former New York Yankees teammate, future Hall of Fame pitcher Andy Pettitte, retired after 16 years, Roger Clemens had a so-so outing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, where Brian McNamee's libel suit against the former Cy Young award-winner was pared down, but allowed to proceed, according to a story in today's New York Post.

In McNamee v. Clemens (Case No. 1:09-cv-01647), Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. said McNamee may pursue his defamation claim based on Clemens' alleged statements that McNamee lied and manufactured evidence to inculpate Clemens as a user of steroids and human growth hormone during his pitching days. However, Judge Johnson dismissed McNamee's claims of malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress based on alleged statements by Clemens that purported McNamee was extorting him and suffered from a mental disorder.

McNamee is seeking at least $75,000 in damages. (See "TUOL" post 11/13/09.)  The civil action is likely to take a back seat to the criminal prosecution of Clemens in federal court in Washington, D.C. based on charges that Clemens allegedly lied to Congress about using performance drugs.

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