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 EST

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. Video: Watch Matt Harvey’s return to action against the Tigers

    Mar 6, 2015, 8:35 PM EST

    Matt Harvey Matt Harvey

    Friday was Matt Harvey Day in Port St. Lucie, as the right-hander returned to game action for the first time since he had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

  2. Report: Astros lowered their offer to Ryan Vogelsong following medical examination

    Mar 6, 2015, 7:45 PM EST

    Ryan Vogelsong Ryan Vogelsong

    The Astros didn’t like what they saw following Ryan Vogelsong’s medical examination, which is why they lowered their offer.

  3. Giants likely to fill Hunter Pence void with in-house candidates

    Mar 6, 2015, 6:55 PM EST

    Hunter Pence Hunter Pence

    Gregor Blanco will probably get the lion’s share of the available playing time with Hunter Pence absent for six to eight weeks.

  4. Jose Bautista is battling a minor hamstring injury

    Mar 6, 2015, 6:05 PM EST

    Jose Bautista; John Gibbons Jose Bautista; John Gibbons

    The Blue Jays have nothing to worry about with Jose Bautista, per manager John Gibbons.

  5. Spring training stats don’t matter . . . except when they do

    Mar 6, 2015, 4:48 PM EST

    Cleveland Indians v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    Most of them don’t. But there are some predictive stats to be found in spring training games. If you know where to look.

  6. Mat Gamel is still alive. The Yankees just signed him.

    Mar 6, 2015, 3:51 PM EST

    gamel getty Getty Images

    The once top prospect hasn’t played in the bigs since 2012.

  7. Casey Kotchman is making a comeback with the Royals

    Mar 6, 2015, 3:15 PM EST

    Casey Kotchman AP

    Kotchman was the Angels’ first-round pick in 2001 and played 10 seasons in the majors for seven different teams, most recently with the Marlins in 2013.

  8. Daniel Murphy exits game after being plunked on the hand

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:40 PM EST

    Daniel Murphy AP AP

    Beaned on Tuesday, plunked on Friday. Not the best week for Murph.

  9. Rangers add bullpen help, sign Joe Beimel

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:20 PM EST

    Joe Beimel Getty Images

    Beimel pitched well for the Mariners last season, throwing 45 innings with a 2.20 ERA.

  10. Jonathan Lucroy is ahead of schedule in recovery from hamstring injury

    Mar 6, 2015, 1:49 PM EST

    Jonathan Lucroy Getty Getty Images

    Lucroy was initially given a 4-6 week recovery timetable on February 11, so he’s three-plus weeks in.

  11. Matt Harvey makes his return. And he was really impressive.

    Mar 6, 2015, 1:19 PM EST

    Matt Harvey

    He faced six batters and retired them all. And he cranked it up to 99 m.p.h.

  12. Josh Reddick strained his oblique muscle

    Mar 6, 2015, 12:39 PM EST

    josh reddick getty Getty Images

    He’s been injured the last two seasons. He’s not starting 2015 out much better.

  13. Hunter Pence and the pitcher who broke his arm chat on Twitter

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:31 AM EST

    Hunter Pence AP

    See, now that’s good sportsmanship in 2015!

  14. Tim Collins has ligament damage in his elbow

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:03 AM EST

    Tim Collins Getty Getty Images

    The pitchers are starting to drop. Here’s hoping we don’t get a rash of these like we did last year.

  15. Barry Zito’s first start in 19 months “was pretty impressive”

    Mar 6, 2015, 10:47 AM EST

    Barry Zito Getty Getty Images

    Barry Zito took the mound Thursday for his first game action since 2013.

  16. Tweet of the Day: Dan Uggla makes an appearance

    Mar 6, 2015, 10:30 AM EST

    Dan Uggla AP

    Reconnecting with old friends is always nice.

  17. White Sox release Tony Campana after torn ACL

    Mar 6, 2015, 10:15 AM EST

    Tony Campana Getty Images

    Campana signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox in November.

  18. There have been no contract extension talks between Jeff Samardzija and the White Sox

    Mar 6, 2015, 9:34 AM EST

    Jeff Samardzija AP

    Please make a note of it in whatever log or journal you happen to be keeping.

  19. Joey Votto: “I’m a different hitter than most.’

    Mar 6, 2015, 8:45 AM EST

    Joey Votto Getty Images

    Votto explains his approach to one of his biggest detractors.

  20. Peter Moylan signs a minor league deal with the Braves

    Mar 6, 2015, 8:08 AM EST

    Moylan.bmp

    The two-time Tommy John veteran reunites with the Braves.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3364)
  2. J. Hamilton (2907)
  3. D. Viciedo (2769)
  4. C. Gonzalez (2766)
  5. C. Sale (2705)