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Friday, June 14, 2024

The Athletic Gets Count Dropped in Trevor Bauer Defamation Case

  • While judge drops one count against The Athletic, one claim remains over tweets.
  • Journalist Molly Knight also remains a defendant in the case.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer stands in dugout
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the counts dismissed against The Athletic. Only one of two counts was dismissed by the judge.

The Athletic secured a legal victory in a defamation lawsuit brought by suspended Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer. 

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald wrote in an opinion posted to the federal docket on Tuesday that the count related to a story by The Athletic was dismissed, but the sports news website and Molly Knight remain defendants related to tweets from Knight.

Bauer can file an amended complaint by Jan. 6 for the count that was dismissed.

Fitzgerald wrote her tweets “favors that a reasonable reader could conclude that the tweets implied an asserted fact.”

In one tweet from Knight’s verified account in July 2021, she wrote it was “not possible to consent to a fractured skull.” The tweet has since been deleted. 

The accuser, however, did not have a fractured skull, which CT scans revealed per court documents in the defamation case. 

In the order, Fitzgerald wrote that “based on the allegations that remain and all reasonable inferences that may be drawn therefrom, the complaint alleges a plausible claim for relief.”

Bauer also sued the attorney for the accuser for defamation, a lawsuit that was dismissed last month. 

Bauer was suspended for what amounts to two full seasons for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. He is eligible to return early in the 2024 season.

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