Man Falls Asleep At MLB Game, Sues MLB For $10 Million For Noticing

from the napping-for-fun-and-profit dept

Defamation laws can be a tricky thing. Public figures, for instance, can sometimes have a tough time navigating when the law doesn't apply, while the more crazy but less famous folks of the world seem to occasionally forget that truth is a defense against defamation. Add to them the times when entire organizations forget that parody exists and is protected speech and suddenly you begin wondering whether anyone ever gets a defamation suit right.

Well, if they do, it sure ain't Andrew Robert Rector, part-time baseball fan and full-time misguided-lawsuit-filer. See, Andrew fell asleep at a Yankees/Red Sox game, and ESPN's cameras caught him snoozing. Now Andrew is suing roughly everyone for ten million dollars. Confused? You're not the only one. The at times hard to understand filing appears to be relatively unconcerned with facts, you see.

Rector claims he was filmed, and defamed, at the April 13 game between the Yankees and Red Sox, at Yankee Stadium.

"In the course of watching the game plaintiff napped and this opened unending verbal crusade against the napping plaintiff," the complaint states. ESPN focused its cameras on him, Rector says, and then "Announcers like Dan Shulman and John Kruck unleashed avalanche of disparaging words against the person of and concerning the plaintiff. These words, include but not limited to 'stupor, fatty, unintelligent, stupid' knowing and intending the same to be heard and listened to by millions of people all over the world ..."
Except, other than the camera noticing the dozing fan, none of the other accusations are even remotely accurate. For the millionth time, I find myself thanking the universe for MLB's Advanced Media, which provides video of the entire episode during the broadcast. Like I said, the complaint isn't even close to being true. The specific allegations of what the announcers said are simply wrong. They never said those things. On top of that, the complaint appears to be written by someone that needs remedial English classes, because sections of it border on incomprehensible. It even gets the names of the announcers wrong.
John Kruck [sic] in his verbal attack insinuated that the plaintiff is individual that know neither history nor understood the beauty or rivalry between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankee [sic].
And:
Plaintiff alleges that MLB.com, juxtapositions of photos and text of two men kissing each other and caption "sleeping Yankee's Fan cares not for your rivalry talk" falsely implied that plaintiff engaged in that type of conduct described or portrayed by the picture. In light of all the surrounding circumstances.
Now, that particular passage had me monumentally confused, until I read Deadspin's post about this whole situation. They're postulating that Andrew and/or his lawyers appear to be mistaking a third party for ESPN, which is about as shocking as the sun rising in the east.
That completely nonsensical paragraph seems to be referring to this blog post on NotSportsCenter.com, which has nothing to do with MLB or ESPN. But anyway, Andrew Rector wants everyone to know that he's totally not gay, bro. Stupid, maybe, but totally not gay.
Whoo-boy. In other words, in sum total, it's difficult to imagine how Andrew Rector and whatever crackerjack legal team he has hired could have screwed this up any worse. Probably best at this point to drop the whole thing and go away, particularly considering how the lawsuit has now streisanded this story and far more people are witnessing the plaintiff's actions than ever would have otherwise.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 4:55am

    Well, at least he is being called stupid right now so there is that to his defense. Granted he made a fool of himself and provided the Internet with an easy target but let's not be too picky with the facts, no?

    Also, I think I saw Ms Streisand waving in the footage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2014 @ 5:59am

      Re:

      Calling someone "stupid" is not defamation under any circumstances.
      If it was, lawyers would line schoolyards and playgrounds waiting for clients.

      All this idiot is doing is creating another classic example of the "Streisand Effect".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 14 Jul 2014 @ 5:54am

    Cough cough

    On top of that, the complaint appears to be written by someone that needs remedial English classes, because sections of it border on incomprehensible.

    You probably mean "who needs remedial English classes", and "border on being incomprehensible" or "border on the incomprehensible".

    Of course, it is the irony of grammar flames that they will contain several errors themselves. I have little doubt that my comment will prove no exception to this rule.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:15am

      Re: Cough cough

      I, four won, like it when my crappy grammer gets pointed out in. That's how i become better at righting....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:17am

        Re: Re: Cough cough

        Use my excuse, my first language is lolcat.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re: Cough cough

        Honest foreigner question: is it ok to use that instead of who in cases like this one?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Cough cough

          Go for it, unless you plan to work at a dead-tree newspaper. Grammar is important, but the more important issue is to make yourself and your ideas understood. Even if your sentence structure is grammatically correct, if your idea is vague or empty it is worth nothing. If what you are saying is important: say it in the simplest way possible that accurately conveys the idea.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Cough cough

            While I try not to be a grammar Nazi I get really annoyed when I see people confuse lose and loose. I see it all the time on the Internet and sometimes the same comment will use the wrong one several times. It's reaching the point where I stopped correcting it with a follow up comment. Come on people.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Donglebert The Needlessly Unready, 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:59am

          Re: Re: Re: Cough cough

          It's absolutely ok and perfectly correct to use "that" in such cases. The need for "who" when referring to people is a myth.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Donglebert The Needlessly Unready, 14 Jul 2014 @ 7:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Cough cough

            And, equally, there is nothing wrong with "border on incomprehensible". There's no need for two verbs - to border works happily enough on its own when followed by a predicative.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Ninja (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 7:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Cough cough

            Thanks, and thanks all who replied (or that replied lmao).

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:27am

      Re: Cough cough

      Don't get upset, he's just a 13 year old Ukrainian boy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mcinsand, 14 Jul 2014 @ 5:57am

    I would expect the lawsuit to go the other way

    I'm surprised of the direction that the lawsuit is taking. If anything, I would have expected the MLB to sue Rector and the broadcast network for exposing the fact that MLB is boring. They couldn't exactly sue for defamation; after all, you aren't defaming anyone if you simply expose the facts. However, given the onerous terms of the entertainment industry's contracts, I'm sure that the contract was broken in multiple ways.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2014 @ 8:10am

      Re: I would expect the lawsuit to go the other way

      Reminds me of that classic simpsons episode..."I never realized how boring this game is."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:16am

    And this is fall out from everyone gets a ribbon & nothing you do is ever your fault.

    He goes to event, sleeps.
    In his rage over people noticing him in a public place where he agreed to be on camera (read your ticket dummy), he decided that everyone who said anything about him had to be the people with the deep pockets who could undo his impotent rage.

    He lies about facts in the complaint, and even a casual observer can find that the really bad statements are not coming from the talking heads on tv.

    One wonders if in his zeal to "defend" himself, he made that genius mistep of answering people on YouTube and the like and, to use a happy phrase, 'stuck his dick in a hornet's nest and was shocked to learn he got stung'.

    He should have to pay the legal fees of anyone who bothers to show up to answer this idiocy, the lawyer should be sanctioned for bringing a meritless case as well as lying to the court. Oh and for giggles, they should ban him from attending these events in the future to avoid him getting his feelings hurt in the future.

    You thought the public mocking was bad before?
    Lets see how much the Streisand Effect can multiply your tears.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Avatar28 (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      >the lawyer should be sanctioned for bringing a meritless case as well as lying to the court

      I'm going to go out on a limb here and say he probably filed pro se.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DogBreath, 14 Jul 2014 @ 10:55am

      Re:

      (read your ticket dummy),

      made me think of this:

      Fred Sanford Dummy Reel

      After it is over, the guy filing the lawsuit should be legally required by the court to change his name to Lamont Sanford, as a warning to others that a "Big Dummy" is in there presence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 2:35pm

      Re:

      Oh and for giggles, they should ban him from attending these events in the future to avoid him getting his feelings hurt in the future.

      Really, that should be the standard response anytime someone sues a business. Most businesses tend to have a 'We reserve the right to refuse service to-' clause, and while refusing service to some groups could get you in hot water, 'We refuse to serve him/her because we don't feel like getting sued again' seems like something that a judge would accept.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2014 @ 6:59am

    Well this is one way to get world famous, for a short time. While MLB announcers probably didn't do what he claimed because they are being broadcast, the same may possibly not be said for radio and independent broadcasters. Who friggin' knows?

    For certain, this Andrew character doesn't know. Crap he was asleep at the time, which might account for his wildly inaccurate accusations.

    Evidently Andrew has plenty of money so I'll lend him some free advice.

    Anyone that has money to burn can easily find someone to tend the fire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James T, 14 Jul 2014 @ 7:04am

    Portion of the Ad profits

    I think there is an important distinction here that the videos were not just used for news. They provided peak views and ad revenue over this whole situation. IMO it's not crazy to think that he has some level of interest in that ad revenue. If this was a paid actor then he would have to sign a release. Since he's suing I assume he didn't sign a release.

    I don't like it but I can see that there might be a money grab somewhere in this complaint.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Donglebert The Needlessly Unready, 14 Jul 2014 @ 7:17am

      Re: Portion of the Ad profits

      That's stretching it.

      Even if it's not on the ticket terms (which it often is), he's paid to go to an event that he knew was being filmed. That would come under fair use, I believe.

      And then, since he's made a news story out of it, the image of him sleeping can now be used under fair use.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        James T, 14 Jul 2014 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re: Portion of the Ad profits

        I agree it's a big stretch. The things is the MLB is notorious for claiming control and ownership, to have that I'm sure they opened themselves up a bit legally for this. It sounds like this guy has no chance. Courts usually don't like it when filings from the lawyers don't make sense. It has a tendency to cause summary judgements.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 12:45pm

      Re: Portion of the Ad profits

      What is the value of 'idiot sleeping at a sporting event' in the ad market?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 2:39pm

        Re: Re: Portion of the Ad profits

        'Our games are so boring, we even have people falling asleep in the stands during them!'

        Yeah, I'm not really seeing much PR value there , unless it's for an energy drink company I suppose.

        '... so make sure to pick up our awesome energy drink at the concessions stand so you can make it through the game!'

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Reality bites, 14 Jul 2014 @ 7:22am

    Forrest Gump: My mama says that stupid is as stupid does.

    Isn't the world a wonderful place someone as stupid as him can find a equally stupid lawyer so they can waste legit businesses time and money.

    Take the moron, the moron lawyer and the biggest moron of all the drooler judge and deport them to saudi arabia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      mcherm (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 9:27am

      Re: Forrest Gump: My mama says that stupid is as stupid does.

      > Take the moron, the moron lawyer and the biggest moron of all the drooler judge and deport them to saudi arabia.

      You aren't being fair here. The judge doesn't have anything to do with this: lawsuits are filed with the clerk of the court, and it's quite possible a judge hasn't even been ASSIGNED yet; certainly the judge cannot dismiss the case until it comes into court.

      Also it's not fair to Saudi Arabia.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 7:37am

    A confused time sense

    Andrew Robert Rector, it would seem, suffers from the Billy Pilgrim Syndrome; he's come loose in time. He he's suing because people were calling him an idiot, but people are calling him an idiot because he's suing. He'll be stuck in a time loop forever, and the rest of us will be lucky not to be sucked in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Adam (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 7:56am

    Please post what they did say, not what they didn't say.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 14 Jul 2014 @ 1:20pm

    Another proud moment in the sue happy history of America

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 14 Jul 2014 @ 8:31pm

    One word for this man: idiot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Killing My Career (profile), 15 Jul 2014 @ 12:54am

    Shocked he didn't list some medical conditions like sleep apnea or narcolepsy to bolster his claims.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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