Skip to content

A-Rod’s cousin, Yuri Sucart, files an appeal challenging Major League Baseball’s Biogenesis lawsuit

Aug 20, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT

lawsuit gavel

Alex Rodriguez‘s cousin Yuri Sucart has filed a writ with a Florida appellate court challenging the validity of Major League Baseball’s lawsuit against Biogenesis: the lawsuit which gave Major League Baseball the handle with which to turn Anthony Bosch and others as it pursued Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other ballplayers who were alleged to have done business with the Biogenesis clinic.

Sucart is not a defendant in that lawsuit, but Major League Baseball did seek to take his deposition and sought to obtain documents and his medical records.  Sucart challenged MLB’s right to do so, seeking an order from the trial court preventing the deposition from taking place. That effort was denied and now he has filed today’s writ with the Third District Court of Appeal.

The basis for the appeal, which NBC Sports.com has obtained, includes some arguments which would relate only to Sucart, such as his rights under The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and his standing as a non-party to challenge the trial court’s orders. But Sucart also challenges the very foundation of the lawsuit, arguing that the trial court has no jurisdiction to hear Major League Baseball’s case at all. The reason: the dispute requires the interpretation of baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement in order to determine whether it was breached and state courts are forbidden from interpreting a collective bargaining agreement by operation of the Labor Management Relations Act.

Major League Baseball will have a chance to respond to Sucart’s arguments.  It will likely be weeks, and possibly months, before the court rules.

Sucart’s attorney, Jeffrey Sonn of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida law firm of Sonn & Erez PLC, told NBC Sports.com that if Sucart’s challenge is successful, it not only would mean an end to the Biogenesis case, but it could make waves for player-owner relations in baseball as a whole:

“In my opinion, if the 3rd district court of appeals agrees with our premise … I think the players would have a tremendous lawsuit against baseball for violation of their due process rights and other claims for violating the collective bargaining agreement. It would be tantamount to baseball knowingly violating the players’ rights. The bottom line is if you make a deal with the players, and you don’t like the deal, go renegotiate it. Don’t run to court. Don’t trample on people’s private rights.”

Sonn went beyond the implications of this writ, however, and offered an indictment of the CBA and Joint Drug Agreement overall, saying, “The method of the CBA, which basically holds you guilty until it proves you innocent, is antithetical to our justice system in that it holds you guilty until it proves you innocent. It is un-American.”

The overarching argument may be a moot one given that the MLBPA and all of the accused players with the exception of Alex Rodriguez have gotten on board with baseball’s Biogenesis investigation, accepting their punishment. With respect to Rodriguez, the evidence Major League Baseball will use against him at his upcoming arbitration has already been obtained.

But this appeal could test Major League Baseball’s ability to aggressively pursue similar cases under the theory it employed when it filed the Biogenesis suit. And, if successful, it could render any discipline it ultimately obtains against Alex Rodriguez the product of evidence that, were the law followed and the suit not filed, would likely have never fallen into baseball’s hands in the first place.

Latest Posts
  1. Anthony Rizzo wins 2014 Branch Rickey Award

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

    Anthony Rizzo Getty Getty Images

    Rizzo won the award in recognition of his community work with pediatric cancer patients.

  2. It certainly looks like Barry Bonds’ criminal conviction is going to be overturned

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT

    Closing Arguments Delivered In Barry Bonds Trial Getty Images

    That’s right: for the 2,559th time, Barry Bonds is gonna walk.

  3. Report: Wally Backman could join Mets coaching staff in 2015

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    Wally Backman, Tim Teufel

    We learned late last week that Wally Backman will join the Mets coaching staff on Friday to finish out the season. Now there’s a chance that he could remain in the major leagues to begin 2015.

  4. VIDEO: Derek Jeter hits first home run at Yankee Stadium this season

    Sep 18, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    Derek Jeter Getty Getty Images

    After snapping an 0-for-28 hitless streak last night, Derek Jeter homered at Yankee Stadium tonight for the first time all season.

  5. Giancarlo Stanton gives update on his recovery

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:58 PM EDT

    giancarlo stanton getty Getty Images

    Stanton suffered facial fractures and dental damage when he was hit in the face by a fastball last Thursday.

  6. Ryan Zimmerman goes 1-for-7, runs at 85 percent speed

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:27 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals AP

    It’s possible Zimmerman could be activated from the disabled list as soon as this weekend.

  7. Hanley Ramirez back in Dodgers’ lineup Thursday

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Getty Getty Images

    Ramirez has missed back-to-back starts with an elbow strain.

  8. Josh Hamilton had “sharp stabbing pains” in his chest

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    billy hamilton getty Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton rejoined the Angels’ lineup Tuesday after sitting out 10 games with a right shoulder injury, but he missed last night’s game and is out of the lineup again tonight with more shoulder problems.

  9. Diamondbacks shutting down Daniel Hudson

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

    Daniel Hudson AP

    Hudson made it back to the majors this month for the first time since June 26, 2012.

  10. Jose Fernandez could begin throwing program on October 1

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:02 PM EDT

    Jose Fernandez AP AP

    Marlins ace Jose Fernandez is still a long way from pitching in the majors again, but he’s very close to picking up a baseball for the first time since his Tommy John surgery on May 16.

  11. Pneumonia could end Nolan Arenado’s season

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

    nolan arenado getty Getty Images

    Arenado has taken a strong step forward during his sophomore season in the majors, batting .287/.328/.500 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI over 111 games.

  12. Brock Holt not cleared to return from concussion

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT

    brock holt getty Getty Images

    “Good news, but not as good as it could have been.”

  13. Whatever happened to Khalil Greene?

    Sep 18, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 5.37.31 PM AP

    Khalil Greene was a first round pick compared to Cal Ripken. Then he was a decent and at times excellent Major League shortstop. Then he disappeared.

  14. Even Google is making me depressed about the Braves

    Sep 18, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

    braves logo large

    When you’re mocked by the auto-complete function, you’re pretty much mocked by everything.

  15. Angels scratch Jered Weaver from start after winning division

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Jered Weaver AP AP

    Wade LeBlanc is taking his place, but don’t worry.

  16. Diamondbacks shut down Oliver Perez with “dead arm”

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey AP

    Perez had a sub-2.00 ERA before recent problems.

  17. The A’s nightmare continues

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

    a's logo

    It’s like it’s happening in slow motion and every A’s fan is yelling “nnnnnoooooooo!”

  18. Nationals claim Twins’ Opening Day shortstop off waivers

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Pedro Florimon AP AP

    Pedro Florimon is not a starting-caliber shortstop because he can’t hit, but his defense is good enough to make him a decent utility man at age 27.

  19. Somehow, it keeps getting worse for the A’s

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Sean Doolittle Sean Doolittle

    The only thing more painful than hitting rock bottom is thinking you’ve hit it, only to find out there’s still more room to sink.

Featured video

Angels' 2011 overhaul finally paying off?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3249)
  2. G. Stanton (2548)
  3. A. Rizzo (2320)
  4. H. Ryu (2086)
  5. J. Hamilton (2026)
  1. N. Arenado (1992)
  2. M. Trout (1984)
  3. E. Gattis (1912)
  4. D. Ortiz (1821)
  5. A. Pujols (1775)