Judge rules Lorena Martin, Mariners must go to arbitration
SEATTLE (AP) — A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that Lorena Martin’s wrongful termination lawsuit against the Seattle Mariners must be resolved in private arbitration rather than in court.
Judge Regina Cahan ruled Friday that Martin had signed a contract with the team that called for any contract dispute to be resolved via arbitration, and that the contract was signed prior to a new state law that calls for cases of discrimination to be heard in open court.
Martin’s lawyer had argued that the Mariners wanted arbitration as a way to keep the case out of the public spotlight, The Seattle Times reported . But Cahan said the new law, which went into effect last June, did not pre-empt the clauses in Martin’s contract calling for arbitration.
Martin was fired as the Mariners’ high-performance director last fall after one season on the job. She has claimed she was discriminated against by member of the organization and claimed that general manager Jerry Dipoto, director of player development Andy McKay and manager Scott Servais made disparaging comments against Latino players.
The Mariners have denied Martin’s claims. An independent investigation by Major League Baseball found no credible evidence to support Martin’s claims of disparaging comments and discriminatory treatment by members of the Mariners front office.
Martin had signed a three-year contract with the team after being hired away from the Los Angeles Lakers in the fall of 2017.