LIV Golf rebel Patrick Reed was landed with a major bill as a Jacksonville federal judge dismissed his lawsuit for a second time, while ordering to pay legal fees and costs
Golf star Patrick Reed was ordered to pay the legal fees of news outlets as a Jacksonville federal judge dismissed his defamation lawsuit against them for a second time.
The 2018 Masters victor filed a $750 million lawsuit back in 2022 against various media figures including Emon Lynch, Doug Ferguson, and Brandel Chamblee. The 33-year-old claimed that they had ‘conspired’ to defame him alongside PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan going back to when he was ’23 years old’ and following his switch to LIV Golf.
Reed and attorney Larry Klayman claimed that the defendants had engaged in ‘conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and tortious interference,’ with their reporting. However, the lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan in September – just before the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Now, proceedings have taken another landmark twist, with the one-time Major winner having been ordered to pay the legal fees and of every defendant. Judge Corrigan issued the ordered on Jan. 5, 2023, following on from his earlier dismissal after it was ruled that Reed had brought the lawsuits in an attempt to hit back at free speech, in violation of the First Amendment.
Dismissing the case back in September, Corrigan did admit that some reporting had been ‘over the top’ before rejecting the notion that this amounted to defamation. He said: “While Reed may be frustrated at the negative media coverage he receives (some of which seems over the top), under Florida law and the First Amendment, Reed fails to bring actionable defamation claims, and his cases, therefore, must be dismissed.”
In addition, the Order released on Jan. 5, 2024 also states that the LIV Golf rebel had contravened Florida’s anti-SLAAP (Strategic lawsuit against public participation) measures. This essentially prohibits any lawsuits against anyone exercising the right to freedom of speech in relation to a public issue.
Reed’s attorney Klayman reacted to the news, saying: “The PGA Tour’s and its ‘partner’ the NBC’s Golf Channel’s mission is to destroy a top LIV Golf Tour player, his family, as well as all of the LIV Golf players, to further their agenda and alleged collaborative efforts to destroy the new LIV Golf Tour.
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“As alleged in the Complaint, these calculated malicious attacks have created hate, aided and abetted a hostile workplace environment, and have caused substantial financial and emotional damage and harm to Mr. Reed and his family.
He continued: “Mr. Reed is confident that all of the prejudiced and unlawful rulings of Judge Corrigan will be reversed on appeal and that justice will be done.
“The dishonest and unethical fake news golf media, in the hip pocket of and dependent on the PGA Tour, must be held to account for their callous and malicious attempts to destroy Mr. Reed, as a means to try to destroy LIV Golf, for clicks and profits. Stay tuned. This fight is far from over!”