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Lawyer for abuse victims demands millions from the Red Sox

Dec 5, 2011, 9:55 AM EST

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Last month we were reminded about Donald Fitzpatrick, the longtime Red Sox clubhouse manager who molested and abused at least a dozen team clubhouse.  Now an attorney for two additional victims has demanded $5 million settlements from the team:

Two more men are accusing a now-dead former Red Sox clubhouse manager of sexually abusing them. Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian says he has informed the Red Sox of the allegations and is asking for a $5 million settlement for each man.

The men were teenage clubhouse attendants in 1991 when they say Donald Fitzpatrick molested them in the clubhouse of Fenway Park. The statute of limitations has expired to file a lawsuit or seek criminal charges.

When the evil is without limits, the repercussions of it never end.

  1. thegurubrave - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Give some good braves news Craig

  2. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    What more do we need to know about the Sox ownership pretending that problems will go away?

    • drewsylvania - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      Not the same ownership, FWIW.

    • JBerardi - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      Kind of disgusting that you’d take an incident like this and try to tie it into the triviality that is baseball operations.

  3. bozosforall - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    First all those Boston priests, now this guy…Boston men just love themselves some manass.

    • drewsylvania - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:46 AM

      Lemme guess…my post will get deleted for calling this guy an ass, but the original, offending post will live on. Correct?

    • marshmallowsnake - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      You must be from Boston since you know so much about this? Wait…isn’t bozo slang for…never mind.

    • JBerardi - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      You’re an idiot.

    • cur68 - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:20 PM

      Holy crap, what in the HELL is the matter with you bozo? At this point I’m prepared to discount you as a human.

    • bozosforall - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      Thanks for confirming that Boston fans are the biggest crybabies on the planet, guys.

      • marshmallowsnake - Dec 5, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        I am a Boston fan, and could not care less if you insult Sox fans…but to lump a whole community into that point of view just shows your ignorance.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 5, 2011 at 3:03 PM

        Fitzpatrick worked in Boston’s complex in Florida. Good job tying him in to the priest-abuse tragedy, though. Totally related.

      • bobwsc - Dec 5, 2011 at 4:02 PM

        keyboard tough-guy, clap clap clap-clap-clap!

  4. h2otown66 - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Craig, would current ownership be financially liable for actions that took place decades ago under previous ownership?

    • shaggylocks - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      Interesting question; I’d definitely like to hear a lawyer’s thoughts on this. My non-lawyer thoughts are thus: the current owners bought the organization, and with that purchase comes all the baggage of the organization. So if the victims win a settlement from the organization, the new owners are responsible.

      I don’t know how accurate that is, though. If I bought a restaurant from someone, completely changed the menu, remodeled the dining room, and updated the kitchen, is my restaurant responsible for paying restitution to the people the previous owner made ill with under-cooked seafood?

      But I don’t know if that analogy is truly analogous, especially considering the severity of the crime here. Child abuse is disgusting and horrible, and the current ownership should do everything in their power to help the victims. Not because they’re legally responsible, but because it’s the decent, human thing to do.

    • steveinphilly - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      It depends on whether the new owners bought the whole organization or just the assets and certain defined liabilities. If the former, then the new owner takes on all liabilities (although there could have been something in the agreement saying that the old owners will reimburse them for any at-the-time-unknown old liabilities that arise, but the sale was nearly 10 years ago, so that would likely have expired). This is called an “equity sale” or “stock sale.”

      But of the Lucchino group bought only the assets (Fenway, NESN, the trademarks, the MLB franchise rights, the physical inventory of uniforms, bats, balls, etc.) and took assignment of the contracts (with players, with the minor league teams, with the vendors, etc.), then in all likelihood any old claims like this one would remain with the sellers. This is called an “asset sale.”

      I can’t find any references in a quick Google search to find out which one was the case. But in the case of an an asset case, there would be a new company in place that owns the Red Sox, and the old company would likely have been dissolved by now–leaving the sex abuse plaintiffs with no entity left to sue. The “new” Red Sox in that case would likely also be off the hook. Sometimes there is something called “successor liability,” but it doesn’t seem likely to be in play here, 20 years later and especially with the statute of limitations having expired.

      In your restaurant example, typically buyers of restaurants will demand an asset sale for exactly that reason–you don’t know what claims are going to come out of the woodwork later on, and even if the seller agrees to cover anything that arises, who knows whether he will still have the money at that time. He could transfer it to a trust or to family members.

      I agree with shaggylocks: even if the current ownership group is not responsible, they should make some sort of large donation to anti-sex abuse charities or funds.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 5, 2011 at 2:34 PM

      I do not understand how, legally, either the current ownership or the prior owner could be financially liable when the statute of limitations for both lawsuits and charges have already passed.

      I presume the lawyers for the these two men are essentially asking for the $5M to not create more bad publicity since they can’t actually file suit?

      • Kevin S. - Dec 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        I don’t believe statute of limitations applies to civil damages, only criminal complaints.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 5, 2011 at 6:33 PM

        There are statutes of limitations for civil suits as well. We had to attend lectures that addressed them regarding malpractice claims when I was in medical school. I don’t know what those limits are in MA, but with the incidents occurring in 1991, I presume the men are in their late 20’s or early 30’s by now & I’d be very surprised if the statute lasted 10+ years past reaching the age of majority.

  5. randygnyc - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Statue of limitations have expired AND, the “red sox rapist” is dead (along with any pertinent testimony). Seems to me that’s the end of the story. Should have sucked it up and come forward A LONG TIME AGO.

    • bobwsc - Dec 5, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE.

  6. adamb103 - Dec 6, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    You’d think they could use this to push legislation to increase the SOL

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