Simers Sues L.A. Times For Discrimination, Wrongful Firing, Names McCourt As Defendant
Orange County Register sports columnist T.J. Simers has sued his former employer, the L.A. Times, for discrimination and wrongful firing, "claiming he was warned to 'go easy' on former Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt because of McCourt's relationship with the newspaper's publisher," according to Matt Reynolds of COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE. The lawsuit named the paper, its corporate parent Tribune Co. and affiliates, L.A. Times editors Marc Duvoisin and Davin Maharaj, and McCourt as defendants. Simers also claims that he "suffers from a complex migraine syndrome, a condition his employers knew about when they pushed him out of the company in September." Simers claims that his troubles began in '11 when he "was told he might lose his job if he wrote about a charity close to his heart, the Mattel Children's Charity." He alleges that he was "warned to stay off the subject because of concerns that he was encouraging Dodgers players to donate to Mattel instead of to McCourt's Dodgers charity." Simers says that things "came to a head ... when he appeared in video with his daughter shooting hoops" with Rockets C Dwight Howard. After the video "went viral," Mandalay Sports Entertainment "announced plans to make a television show about Simers' family." Simers claims that Duvoisin and Maharaj "accused him of violating the company's ethics codes by pitching scripts to Hollywood." Simers "seeks exemplary damages for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, negligent and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, breach of faith and other counts" (COURTHOUSENEWS.com, 10/16).