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Former Minority Owners of Expos to sue Selig, Loria for violations of RICO
AP ^ | July 16, 2002 | Blum, Ronald

Posted on 07/16/2002 6:04:59 AM PDT by Viva Le Dissention

Ex-Expos Partners to Sue Selig, Loria

By RONALD BLUM AP Sports Writer ------------------------------------------------------------------ NEW YORK (AP) — The former minority partners of the Montreal Expos are filing a lawsuit charging baseball commissioner Bud Selig and former team owner Jeffrey Loria with fraud.

The 14 owners planned to file the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Miami under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a person close to the lawyers for the minority partners, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, said Monday on the condition he not be identified.

The lawsuit concerns the proposed contraction of the Expos, the group said Monday in a statement that did not go into details. The 14 corporate entities, who together owned 6-to-7 percent of the Expos, currently own 6-to-7 percent of the Florida Marlins.

The lawsuit asks for compensatory damages, which are tripled, plus $100 million in punitive damages, the person close to the lawyers said.

The suit contends Loria and Marlins president David Samson conspired with baseball officials to dilute the minority partners' share of the team from 76 percent to 6-to-7 percent and never intended to keep the franchise in Montreal.

Earlier this year, Loria's holding company sold the Expos to a company owned by the other 29 major league teams and purchased the Florida Marlins from John Henry, who became controlling owner of the Boston Red Sox.

Defendants in the lawsuit will include Selig, Loria, baseball chief operating officer Bob DuPuy, the commissioner's office and Samson, who had been executive vice president of the Expos under Loria's ownership.

The plaintiffs include BCE Inc., BMO Nesbitt Inc., Cascades Inc., Esarbee Investments Ltd., Fairmont Canadian Resorts and Hotels Ltd., Federation des Caisses Populaires Desjardins du Quebec, Fonds de Solidarite des travailleurs du Quebec, Freemark Holdings Inc., Loblaws Inc., M & S Sports Inc., Provigo Inc., Telemedia Communications Inc., 98362 Canada Inc. and 114114 Canada Inc.

Stephen Bronfman, the son of former Expos controlling partner Charles Bronfman, is a principal in Esarbee, and L. Jacques Menard, the Expos' former chairman, is the principal of BMO Nesbitt Inc.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has done work in the past for several players' associations and also represents the San Francisco Giants' Jeff Kent and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. The firm also has represented the city of Oakland in its lawsuit against the NFL's Raiders and owner Al Davis.

Samson and DuPuy declined comment, saying they would first have to see what is in the suit.

Selig and baseball owners attempted to fold the Expos and Minnesota Twins during the offseason but contraction was put off until 2003 at the earliest when Minnesota courts forced the Twins to honor their 2002 lease at the Metrodome.

TOPICS: Canada; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: baseball; expos; selig

1 posted on 07/16/2002 6:04:59 AM PDT by Viva Le Dissention
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To: Viva Le Dissention

2 posted on 07/16/2002 6:10:11 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: Viva Le Dissention
Selig, in a bid to assure he wins the lawsuit, has urged the other side, the minority partners, to hire this man to represent them:

When contacted, the lawyer, pictured above immediately sent out several hundred press releases and sued dozens of companies and the VP of the United States. The lawyer indicated that while he had never hit one pitch ever in court this might be the first time. And urged everyone to send donations. Which are, of course, tax deductible.

3 posted on 07/16/2002 6:21:04 AM PDT by isthisnickcool
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To: Viva Le Dissention
Baseball is dead -- at least at the major league level. I've been a life-long baseball fan since I was five-years-old in 1960. The other day, on Sunday, I turned on the TV in the afternoon. A Braves game was on one channel. NASCAR was on the NBC channel. I watched the NASCAR race. When I surfed to the baseball game channel, I found myself saying, "No way, not anymore," and surfed on. Baseball is dead.

The players and owners don't care about the game, nor its long and storied tradition, so why should a fan care for the product that the current players and owners are offering up? No reason. There are better things to do than watch or follow Major League Baseball.

4 posted on 07/16/2002 6:32:49 AM PDT by Jay W
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To: Jay W
Major League Baseball in Canada was decimated by the strike of 1994. Even more so than in the US. Montreal was leading the league and selling out Olympic Stadium. The Blue Jays weren't doing as well on the field, but they were coming off two World Series wins and still selling 50,000+ every night. I think between them they've only had one sellout from 1995 on.

Nobody is interested in watching millionaires squabble with billionaires.

5 posted on 07/16/2002 6:49:43 AM PDT by badfreeper
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To: Jay W
When MLB is dead and buried, then maybe we will get Big League Ball back.
6 posted on 07/16/2002 9:23:02 AM PDT by razorback-bert
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To: everyone
I've always preferred watching football over baseball.
7 posted on 07/16/2002 1:39:12 PM PDT by Ipberg
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To: Ipberg
Baseball's in trouble when soccer matches, played half-way around the world, in the middle of the night, get better ratings!
8 posted on 07/16/2002 4:33:09 PM PDT by Weimdog
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