Worcester, MA – November 13, 2012 – In a decision handed down on November 8, 2012, the Worcester Superior Court agreed with Howard Stempler, Esq., that a former major league baseball player (voted as the “Most Valuable Player” during his professional career) lacked the right to bring a lawsuit against an independent minor league baseball league to recover damages arising from the failure of one of the league’s members that had employed the player. Mr. Stempler acting as local counsel for the league, argued that the player’s pending bankruptcy case stripped him of any authority to bring the suit or any other claim against the league in the place of the bankruptcy trustee. They also asserted that the player had no contract with the league, which was not a party to the player’s contract with the member. Despite the player’s belated opposition to the motion to dismiss, the Superior Court agreed with the league’s arguments and dismissed the complaint.
The Superior Court also agreed that the player had no claim to the proceeds of a letter of credit issued on behalf of the franchise and drawn down by the league after the member had been terminated from the league. Mr. Stempler successfully argued that the member had no property interest in the proceeds of the letter of credit it gave to the league, and that the player had no basis to enjoin the league from taking the proceeds to apply to the member’s obligations owed to the league. Based on pleadings, the Superior Court denied the player’s motion seeking to enjoin the league from taking the proceeds of the letter of credit and to allow the player to reach and apply such proceeds.