Covering the Intersection of Sports and the Law

Yankees Consider Legal Action Against Construction Worker

The New York Yankees are apparently considering legal action against the Red Sox-rooting construction worker who buried a David Ortiz jersey in the concrete of the Yankees’ new stadium.  It would appear that both criminal and civil charges could be filed against Gino Castignoli, who turned his one day of work on the new Yankees’ stadium into a national news story.

Geoffrey Rapp of the Sports Law Blog has provided an analysis of the trespass issue, and opines that it is an open and shut case against Castignoli:

Any person who commits an act of entry with intent to the land of another without permission is liable to the other for trespass.  Leaving a thing on land without permission can constitute the “act of entry” needed for the trespass claim.  And trespass, like other intentional torts, doesn’t have much of a sense of humor - as long as there was intent, that the effort may have been a good-natured practical joke would not provide a defense.

A more interesting argument might be whether the Yankees removal of the jersey - which took a reported five hours of drilling - was necessary.  Did the Yankees mitigate their damages?

These legal issues may very well go unresolved.  The Yankees will take the classy step of donating the jersey to the Jimmy Fund, the longtime preferred charity of the Red Sox.  On the heels of this public relations victory, the decision to prosecute or litigate may not be wise for the Yankees.

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2 Responses to Yankees Consider Legal Action Against Construction Worker

  1. Jason Whitmen April 16, 2008 at 1:59 am

    A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks.

    Jason Whitmen

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