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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

La Russa Twitter dispute settled

Whoever used the La Russa Twitter page could have been humorous about it, but took it too far. Read the imposter's comments if you don't believe.

La Russa, Twitter settle lawsuit ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Twitter have reached a settlement in his lawsuit against the social networking site. La Russa said Friday that Twitter has agreed to pay legal fees and make a donation to his Animal Rescue Foundation. The organization is likely to take control of the name “There is a law against improperly using a person’s name without authorization and it wasn’t authorized,” La Russa said. “You can’t sue everybody for criticizing you, but it seemed like that was the perception. It was improper use of the name, but it’s been settled.” La Russa is founder and chairman of ARF, an organization in northern California that finds homes for pets. He said the donation was not going to be “too ridiculous.” La Russa filed suit last month in the Superior Court of California. He sought unspecified damages, claiming an unauthorized page that used his name caused emotional distress by making light of the manager’s DUI charge and two Cardinals pitchers who died in recent seasons. The lawsuit became public this week and La Russa said it was handled by the head of ARF, who is an attorney. “The biggest misconception was that it was about somebody using Twitter to be critical of me,” La Russa said. “I have plenty of critics. You can’t sue everybody who is criticizing you.” The account bearing La Russa’s name is no longer active. The lawsuit includes a screen shot of three tweets. One posted on April 19 said: “Lost 2 out of 3, but we made it out of Chicago without one drunk driving incident or dead pitcher.” Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile died of a heart condition in his Chicago hotel room in 2002. Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock died in an auto accident in April 2007, and the medical examiner measured his blood-alcohol level at 0.157 — nearly twice the legal limit. In March 2007, La Russa was found sleeping behind the wheel of a running sport utility vehicle in spring training with a blood-alcohol level of 0.093 percent. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. La Russa’s lawsuit said the page bearing his name was hurtful to the 64-year-old manager, who has led the Cardinals since 1996 and also managed the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A’s during a 30-year managerial career.


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