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Yankee Fan Sues Over Major League Baseball Scandal

Jan 14, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

A New York Yankees fan has sued the baseball team for fraud as a result of the Major League Baseball steroid scandal.  While the damage amount sought by the lawsuit is low – a mere $221 – the fact that it was filed at all points to the high level of fan anger over the Major League Baseball scandal.  Several high-profile New York Yankees baseball players – including pitchers Andy Petitte and Roger Clemens – have been implicated in the Major League Baseball steroid scandal.

On December 13, 2007 the results of an investigation into the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball was released by former US Senator George Mitchell.  The publication of the Mitchell Report marked one of the darkest days in the history of Major League Baseball.  Not only were steroids and other banned substances used regularly by some of the greatest heroes of the game, but Sen. Mitchell found that, by turning a blind eye to the steroid scandal, both the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball itself where complicit in the steroid scandal.   According to the Mitchell Report, the use of steroids in Major League Baseball was so widespread that it undermined the integrity of the game.

Matthew Mitchell (no relation to the Senator), a 30-year-old Brooklyn resident and paralegal, claims the Major League Baseball steroid scandal amounts to consumer fraud.   Now, he is suing the New York Yankees to recover the costs of tickets to five games he attended between 2002 and 2007.   They include Game 2 of the 2003 World Series, in which pitcher Andy Pettitte led the Yankees to a win, as well as another played on June 8, 2002, where Mitchell watched San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds hit one of the longest home runs he had ever seen in Yankee Stadium.  

Because the outcomes of those games could have been influenced by the use of steroids and other banned substances, Mitchell believes the costs of tickets should be refunded by the Yankees.  "You told me I was seeing a baseball game with real baseball players, when, in fact, there were players that were artificially enhanced," Mitchell said, according to a report on ABC  Mitchell told ABC that he is only asking for the cost of the tickets, because he wants his lawsuit to focus on the ethical concerns highlighted by the Major League Baseball steroid scandal.  

Mitchell’s claim was filed last week in Brooklyn Small Claims Court.  Mitchell filed the lawsuit under "failure to provide goods paid for." So far, the Yankees have refused to comment, but a hearing on Mitchell’s Major League Baseball steroid scandal lawsuit is scheduled for a hearing on February 20.  For his part, Mitchell has vowed never to attend another Yankees game.

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