Judge Dismisses Patrick Reed’s Defamation Lawsuits

A federal judge has dismissed both of Patrick Reed’s defamation lawsuits, which involved a total of 18 defendants.

Chief Judge Timothy J. Corrigan of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida cited various reasons for throwing out the litigation against Golf Channel, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and others. The lawsuits sought at least $1 billion in combined damages.

According to Corrigan’s 78-page order, “Because Reed is a public figure, he must sufficiently allege facts showing actual malice by the defendants to maintain his claims. To satisfy this standard, Reed must allege facts sufficient to give rise to a reasonable inference that the false statement was made ‘with the knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.'”

The judge stated that Reed’s amended complaints in both lawsuits failed to provide enough evidence of actual malice, which is fatal to the defamation claims.

Corrigan dismissed the amended complaints with prejudice, meaning they cannot be refiled.

Reed’s attorney, Larry Klayman, disagreed with the decision and criticized Judge Corrigan’s motivations.

“The decision was seriously flawed — factually and legally — and showed [Corrigan had] a mindset against Patrick,” Klayman told Front Office Sports.

Reed initially filed his defamation case against Golf Channel and Chamblee in a Texas federal court last year. Klayman dismissed that case and re-filed it in Florida along with a second lawsuit.

Although Corrigan allowed Reed to file amended complaints, he ultimately dismissed both cases, stating, “There is no reason to think that a third amended complaint would be different. These overwhelming deficiencies, coupled with his failed attempt at pleading both complaints, demonstrate that further amendment would be futile.”

Out of all the claims, Corrigan only found one of them “may be defamatory, but none of the other alleged statements survive the motions to dismiss.” This claim pertained to a New York Post story from the book The Cup They Couldn’t Lose by Shane Ryan, which detailed Reed’s time at The University of Georgia and allegations of him stealing from teammates.


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