SBD/Issue 47/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Clause Protects George Mitchell From Potential Lawsuits

Mitchell Includes Indemnity Clause In
Deal To Lead Steroid Probe For MLB
MLB steroid investigator George Mitchell has operated "under an indemnity clause stating that [MLB] would be responsible for legal costs of lawsuits brought in connection with his investigation," according to Michael Schmidt of the N.Y. TIMES. MLB Exec VP/Labor Relations Rob Manfred said the clause is "customary in independent investigations." The terms of the provision were not revealed, but legal experts said that "an indemnity clause would shield Mitchell from lawsuits brought by players who could claim they were unfairly named in his report." Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman said, "Mitchell is doing the best he can to protect himself while acting on behalf of a nongovernmental entity in this investigation." John Dowd and former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent said that Dowd "was not indemnified by baseball" when he led an investigation into former MLBer Pete Rose's alleged gambling in '89.  Dowd said, "I never felt the need for indemnity, because I had confidence in what we are doing." However, Dowd notes Mitchell is "dealing with many more subjects that I did in the Rose case" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/15).

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