Defamation suit against Clemens a go
A federal judge ruled Thursday that a defamation lawsuit against baseball pitcher Roger Clemens may proceed to trial, rejecting arguments that the case be dismissed.
Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. in Brooklyn federal court made the ruling on a civil suit filed by former New York Yankees' trainer Brian McNamee, charging Clemens with allegedly waging a defamatory campaign "intended to deceive the public and Congress into falsely believing that McNamee is a liar."
The action followed McNamee's testimony before a congressional committee accusing Clemens of using steroids and human growth hormones during his professional baseball career.
McNamee's civil suit, filed in 2009, is asking for at least $75,000 in damages, blaming Clemens for destroying his career and causing him "cataclysmic economic damage."
"This is a clean-sweep victory for us," Richard Emery, McNamee's attorney, said after the hearing. "We have an entirely viable case in front of this judge. I view it as a home run."
The Brooklyn civil case is not expected to go to trial until a criminal case against Clemens in a Washington, D.C., federal court is adjudicated. Federal prosecutors have charged Clemens with lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens had sued his former trainer for defamation -- alleging that McNamee lied about injecting him with drugs -- but that action was dismissed.
In his ruling Thursday, the judge threw out two elements of McNamee's suit, dismissing claims that Clemens had intentionally inflicted emotional stress on him and had waged a malicious prosecution against the former trainer.