Suspended pitcher Trevor Bauer suffers two setbacks in court as his legal battles continue

Trevor Bauer’s quest for payback in opposition to sure folks and publications suffered a few setbacks in court Wednesday when a federal choose dominated in favor of two folks Bauer has sued and accused of damaging him financially.

One of these defendants is the lady from San Diego who accused the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher of choking and hitting her final yr throughout two sexual encounters at his dwelling in Pasadena.

The different defendant was the lady’s former legal professional, Fred Thiagarajah.

US District Judge James V. Selna granted a movement by Thiagarajah to have Bauer’s defamation declare in opposition to him dismissed, stating that Bauer didn’t meet his burden in exhibiting a likelihood of success on the deserves of that declare in opposition to him.

Thiagarajah is “entitled to get better affordable attorneys’ charges and prices, and shall submit an utility inside seven days,” the choose’s ruling acknowledged.

In one other ruling, the identical choose additionally denied Bauer’s try to have the San Diego lady’s countersuit in opposition to him dismissed. After Bauer sued her for defamation in April, the lady countersued him in August, restating her claims that he went too far in their encounters with out her consent.

Her lawsuit now can proceed in opposition to Bauer, who has not performed because the lady went public along with her allegations in June 2021. But his bigger battle trudges on: His lawsuit in opposition to the lady remains to be lively, together with two different lawsuits in opposition to two sports activities web sites and two journalists. He is searching for damages from them after accusing them of defamation and blaming them for a lot of the difficulty he’s dealing with as he tries to renew his baseball profession.

Trevor Bauer

In Thiagarajah’s case, Bauer’s attorneys took difficulty with feedback he made to The Washington Post in February after the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office declined to file felony costs in opposition to Bauer for what occurred between him and the San Diego lady in April and May 2021.

Thiagarajah advised the Post there was “little question that Mr. Bauer simply brutalized” his shopper final yr. Bauer’s attorneys say this was false and defamatory.

Thiagarajah’s attorneys say he was merely giving a “honest and true report” of a court listening to involving Bauer and the lady final yr, which is protected by legislation. A state household court choose in that listening to dominated in opposition to the lady’s request for a everlasting restraining order in opposition to Bauer but in addition famous the pictures of the lady’s accidents had been “horrible.” The lady went to the hospital after her second encounter with Bauer, the place she was recognized with an acute head damage and assault by strangulation. Bauer’s legal workforce says these pictures had been “doctored.”

The choose’s ruling Wednesday cited Thiagarajah’s First Amendment proper to free speech.

“The Court has analyzed this difficulty in the context of Bauer’s prima facie defamation declare and located that Thiagarajah’s feedback had been considerably true and communicated the gist of the state court proceedings,” stated Selna’s ruling from the federal court in the Central District of California. “For this purpose, the Court equally finds that Thiagarajah’s statements are protected by the Fair Reporting Privilege.”

Bauer was positioned on paid administrative depart after the lady got here ahead in June 2021 along with her request for a brief restraining order in opposition to him. Major League Baseball investigated her claims and others after which suspended him for two seasons in April. He has denied wrongdoing and has appealed that suspension after stating his relationship with the lady concerned consensual tough intercourse.

Bauer’s attorneys requested the court to have her countersuit dismissed, arguing that she shouldn’t be allowed to relitigate what was hashed out in household court final yr on the listening to over the restraining order. But Judge Selna famous the choose in the restraining order listening to didn’t make a transparent dedication about whether or not the lady was battered by him as she claims in her countersuit.

That state court choose as an alternative made her determination based mostly on the lady’s failure to current enough proof of an inexpensive foundation to concern future hurt from Bauer, Selna’s ruling acknowledged. Selna’s ruling additionally stated the state court choose famous the scope of the lady’s consent was “unclear.”

“Despite (the lady’s) consent to some type of tough intercourse, Bauer engaged in acts whereas (she) was unconscious, when she was bodily and legally unable to offer consent,” Selna’s ruling acknowledged.

“The Court finds that the state court proceedings didn’t essentially resolve that Bauer didn’t batter or sexually assault (the lady) … For the foregoing causes, the Court denies Bauer’s movement to dismiss (the lady’s) counterclaims in opposition to him.”

A February 2024 trial date has been set in Bauer’s defamation lawsuit in opposition to her. The choose’s ruling to dismiss Thiagarajah from one of many lawsuits now means Bauer has defamation lawsuits pending in opposition to 5 folks or publications as an alternative of six.

Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. Email: bschrotenb@usatoday.com

This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: Trevor Bauer handed two losses in court by federal choose

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