Sport-In-Law Friday Feature: Do I Hear $10 Million for the Marlins Baseball Franchise?

By Spencer Wingate, a legal assistant for Brock & Scott PLLC in Charlotte, NC and author.

Each Friday, The Legal Blitz features an article from our good friends at Sport-In-Law in our effort to fulfill our promise to provide the best sports law content on the Web. This week’s feature details a lawsuit filed against the Miami Marlins, whereby the plaintiff claims to have purchased the club at auction for a mere $10 million in 2008.

Omeranz & Landsma Corporation is suing the Miami Marlins Baseball Club, claiming it bought the team at a public auction in 2008.  The plaintiff claims to have attended the Fourth Annual Awards Banquet at Diplomat County Club and Spa in Hallandale Beach, Florida on February 8th 2008.  Allegedly, a major component of the banquet was an auction.  David Samson, President of the Miami Marlins (then known as the Florida Marlins), was the auctioneer at the event.

According to the suit, the Marlins were offered for sale with bids starting at ten million dollars.  Omeranz & Landsma claim to have made the only bid and a bidding contract was created.  The plaintiff states that the Marlins never complied with the contract nor completed the sale.  The plaintiff seeks damages for breach of contract along with further compensation the court deems just.  Zebersky & Payne are representing the corporation with Todd S. Payne acting as lead counsel.

The lawsuit is not the first time David Samson has been involved in controversy.  The Marlins President was previously involved in two major lawsuits.  It was alleged he tried to force the Montreal Expos out of town and used taxpayers’ money to finance the new Marlins Stadium.  Both lawsuits were ultimately dropped.  It will be interesting to see the Marlins’ response as they are about to enter the first year in their new $634 million stadium.  Samson worked for over six years to obtain financing for the stadium and it would be ludicrous to think he would ever allow the Marlins to be sold for ten million.

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