SBD/18/Franchises

LEGAL BEAT: CELTICS PASS ON WALL STREET JOURNAL LIBEL SUIT

          While Celtics Chair Paul Gaston "threatened" a little
     over three years ago "to sue the Wall Street Journal after
     the newspaper suggested drug abuse and team negligence may
     have contributed to the death of Reggie Lewis," the statute
     of limitations has expired, according to Peter May of the
     BOSTON GLOBE.  The statute of limitations for libel in MA is
     three years, and the three-year anniversary of the Journal
     article "passed quietly" last week.  Gaston: "[A]s much as I
     hate the fact that some injustices go unpunished, I decided
     that this was one that was going to get away" (GLOBE, 3/18).
          ROCKETS: The Rockets "have been alerted to the
     possibility of legal action" by two former employees and
     three current employees who are charging that members of
     Rocketball Ltd. "engaged in race discrimination, violations
     of the Fair Labor Standards Act and sexual harassment,"
     according to Eddie Sefko of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  The team
     received a letter from the attorney representing the five
     complainants.  The letter seeks a $2.5M settlement "to keep
     the group from filing a civil action suit against the
     organization."  Last year, Rocketball Ltd. had 51 minority
     employees out of a total of 160 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/18).

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