Cardinals to compensate Terry McDonough with $3 Million over defamatory statements

Over the years, we have seen tons of athletes have trouble with their team’s administration, leading to their ouster from the squad or, even worse, an immediate dismissal. Oftentimes, these situations snowball into bigger issues because of negligence from staff members. However, on some occasions, the fights morph into bigger problems, ultimately involving the media.

That is exactly what happened in the case between the Arizona Cardinals and their former VP, Terry McDonough. In a fiasco that has spanned the better part of two years, McDonough has argued that his ouster from the franchise has resulted in him losing stead in other walks of life, the damages of which must be borne by the Cardinals. Finally, the court has delivered a ruling on this drama.

Ex-Cardinals exec Terry McDonough wins $3M arbitration

An arbitrator within the NFL has mandated that the Arizona Cardinals compensate former executive Terry McDonough with $3 million for disseminating “false and defamatory” remarks about him to the public via media channels. As detailed in a 62-page ruling issued on March 29, Jeffrey Mishkin, appointed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, found the Cardinals and their owner, Michael Bidwill, guilty of defaming McDonough “with malice.”

This defamation was contained within a statement distributed to media outlets, alleging McDonough’s involvement in spousal abuse and negligence toward his disabled adult daughter, allegations which McDonough has vehemently refuted on numerous occasions. McDonough’s lawyer, Mike Caspino, formally submitted the decision to the U.S. District Court in Arizona on Monday, as part of McDonough’s plea to the court.

“Despite what we consider to be a fundamentally unfair arbitration process, Terry McDonough is the first person ever to win against an NFL owner,” Caspino said in a statement, according to ESPN, “Why the NFL has not held Michael Bidwill accountable remains a mystery.”

Details of Terry McDonough’s $3,000,000 payout breakdown

Before the case moved forward, Terry McDonough sought various forms of compensation, and quite lofty amounts at that. His claims included $15 million for projected future earnings loss, $10 million for damage to his reputation, $10 million for emotional distress, and punitive damages ranging from $60 million to $90 million.

However, the final ruling granted him $600,000 in damages for emotional distress resulting from the defamatory remarks, $150,000 in general damages for the harm inflicted upon his reputation by said remarks, and another $2.25 million in punitive damages. Safe to say, McDonough received an amount that was nowhere close to what he expected from the franchise.

What are your thoughts on the final chapter of this fiasco? Let us know in the comments below.


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