Ex-Red Sox Batboy, Clubhouse Attendant Sue Team for $10M
New allegations have surfaced against former Red Sox clubhouse manager Donald Fitzpatrick. A teenage Fenway Park clubhouse attendant and a batboy claim that they were sexually abused in the team's locker room in the early 1980s.
This is not the first Red Sox abuse scandal involving Fitzpatrick. Allegations against him first surfaced in 1991, leading to his dismissal. And the team settled with 7 of his victims for $3.15 million in 2003.
But these allegations are different. Fitzpatrick is long since gone and the time limit for filing a lawsuit against the Red Sox has run out. Yet each man is seeking $5 million.
Even though the team can't be sued, Red Sox executives have still agreed to "resolve the matter," according to a statement made by attorney Mitchell Garabedian. Why would they do this?
For starters, with the Penn State Sandusky scandal still front-page news, a Red Sox abuse scandal could become a public relations nightmare. The public is sympathetic to abuse victims, and fans may expect the team to "do the right thing."
And there's evidence that the team may have not done the "right thing" back in 1991. When Donald Fitzpatrick was first accused, no one from the team contacted former batboys and attendants, reports the Associated Press. They fired him, but apparently failed to investigate the extent of the abuse.
Again, the team failed to reach out to batboys in 2002, when the AP reports Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to 4 counts of attempted sexual battery on a child.
So even if the team's legal obligation to the Red Sox abuse victims has ended, the public may expect the franchise to act. Call it a public relations issue. Compensating the men may boost the team's public image and make the story disappear at a much quicker pace.
- Men Claim Sexual Abuse Inside Red Sox Clubhouse (WCVB-TV)
- Time Limits for Bringing a Case: The "Statute of Limitations" (FindLaw)
- First Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Jerry Sandusky and Penn State (FindLaw's Courtside)
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