The New York Daily News reports that ESPN is trying to get Jason Pierre-Paul’s privacy lawsuit tossed out of court by claiming that he had given their reporter, Adam Schefter, permission (“authorization”) to publish his records.
Color me skeptical. Let’s see a blood-stained email as proof, or voicemail, or any proof of that, please.
NBC Sports adds their skepticism and provide additional detail on ESPN’s response to the complaint:
Chances are it’s not true, but that the lawyers have opted to include that potential defense in the event they trip over evidence that could support making this argument with a straight face. In order to prevent Pierre-Paul’s lawyers from later saying, “Because you didn’t raise that as an affirmative defense in your answer, you waived it,” ESPN and Schefter needed to raise it now.
ESPN and Schefter also claim that the “release of graphic images of his medical condition to Sports Illustrated” operates as a defense to the argument that ESPN and Schefter impermissibly obtained and published his medical records. But this case doesn’t seem to be about the fact that Pierre-Paul lost a finger (and more) as a result of a fireworks accident or that he chose to eventually share what his hand looked like following the incident and surgery. It’s about obtaining and publishing someone’s medical records, regardless of the condition they reflect or the subsequent decision of the plaintiff to later share information about the condition.
Even if JPP gave the images and explicit consent to a gadzillion other outlets after ESPN and Schefter published them, that doesn’t reduce the defendants’ liability. I had no idea who JPP was/is (I’m not a football fan), but I hope he wins this case.