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Wednesday, July 08, 2009
"God Bless America" lawsuit settled

The Red Sox fan who was kicked out of (old) Yankee Stadium when he tried to leave the seating area during the playing of God Bless America back in 2008 has settled his lawsuit against the City and the Yankees. I wrote about the suit here and here.

According to news reports, the City will pay Bradford Campeau-Laurion $10,001 and the NYCLU $ 12,000 in attorneys fees. The Yankees will pay nothing, although they promise in the settlement agreement that the policy at the new Stadium is and will remain that people are free to get up and move around during the song.

Obviously, we should not read anything about the merits into the decision to settle, but consider two things. First, $ 10,001 is a significant amount, given the lack of apparent actual damages. Second, we might infer that both the City and the Yankees took the view that the state action point was not so obvious that it could be resolved on a 12(b)(6), meaning Discovery would be necessary and perhaps prompting defendants to settle.

Update: Thursday, 2 p.m.:

I forgot to mention one ridiculous detail in the story. The Yankees insist that there never was a policy of preventing people from leaving during the Stretch, so it is not that the lawsuit has prompted a change of policy. This claim, of course, flies in the face of the media reports from two years ago in which the team's COO and a spokesman for George Steinbrenner both spoke about having a policy in place.


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