Astros, Red Sox Sign-Stealing Lawsuit Dismissed by Federal Judge Jed Rakoff

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 3, 2020

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow speaks at a baseball World Series news conference in Washington. Houston  manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the entire season Monday, Jan. 13, 2020,  and the team was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team in 2017 and 2018 season. Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face punishment later. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

A federal lawsuit filed by daily fantasy sports bettors against the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox for stealing signs during games has been dismissed, per The Athletic's Daniel Wallach

Federal Judge Jed Rakoff issued the ruling on Friday, saying the connection between the alleged harm caused and conduct is "too attenuated":

Daniel Wallach @WALLACHLEGAL

#BREAKING: Federal judge dismisses with prejudice ‘sign-stealing’ scandal lawsuit brought by daily fantasy sports players against Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and MLB. In 32-page ruling, Judge Rakoff says connection between alleged harm and conduct is “too attenuated.” https://t.co/bb7Km0CFev

Per Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann, Kristopher Olson, a DraftKings contestant, filed the 52-page complaint against the Astros, Red Sox and MLB linking the cheating scandal involving both teams to consumer rights. 

"Olson argues that MLB, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox engaged in unlawful business practices at the expense of himself and other daily fantasy sports contestants," McCann wrote.

McCann also noted that Olson was among more than 100 people involved in the class-action lawsuit seeking a collective $5 million in monetary damages. 

Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mike Bolsinger filed a civil lawsuit against the Astros in February, requesting they forfeit the $31 million in playoff bonuses from their run to the World Series. The right-hander hasn't pitched in an MLB game since allowing four runs in 0.1 innings on Aug. 4, 2017. 

Astros season-ticket holder Adam Wallach also filed a civil lawsuit in February for "deceptively overcharging" fans, alleging the organization "knowingly and surreptitiously engaged in a sign-stealing scheme" and "secretly put a deficient product on the field" for three seasons starting in 2017. 

MLB fined the Astros organization $5 million and suspended manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for the entire 2020 season; Astros owner Jim Crane subsequently fired Hinch and Luhnow. 

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told SportsCenter on March 25 that the investigation into the Red Sox is complete, but there has "been a delay in terms of producing a written report, just because I, frankly, have not had time to turn to it with the other issues."

Manfred noted he will have a report on the Red Sox out before MLB resumes play. The 2020 season has been postponed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 


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