SOURCE: Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley, P.C.

Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley, P.C.

January 07, 2015 12:55 ET

UPDATE - Ejected Knicks Fan Files Suit Against Madison Square Garden, Claiming Defamation, False Arrest and Imprisonment

MSG Retaliated Against Fan for Comment "Carmelo, You Stink!"

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Jan 7, 2015) -  Anthony Rotondi filed a lawsuit yesterday in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York (Case # 150097/2015) against The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), related to his ejection from a New York Knicks basketball game in January 2014. The suit accuses MSG of defamation, false arrest and false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and tortious interference with business relations.

Rotondi, a then-employee of ING Financial Services (ING), and a co-worker took two clients to the January 7, 2014 Knicks-Detroit Pistons matchup at Madison Square Garden. According to the complaint, late in the fourth quarter -- after watching the Knicks squander a 14-point lead - Rotondi yelled at Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, "Carmelo, you stink!" With only 6.7 seconds remaining in the game, MSG security removed Rotondi from the arena and informed a New York City police officer that Rotondi was trespassing and had interfered with the game. Based on these false statements, Rotondi was arrested and charged with Tampering with a Sports Contest in the 2nd Degree (N.Y. Penal Code § 180.50) and Criminal Trespass in the 3rd Degree (N.Y. Penal Code § 140.10).

The suit also alleges that on the following day, MSG informed Rotondi's employer that Rotondi was disorderly and used vulgar and abusive language at the game, refused to produce his ticket, became abusive with MSG security personnel and refused to leave the premises after his ejection. The suit claims that as a direct result of these false statements, ING terminated Rotondi's employment.

Rotondi seeks compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages against MSG. 

"New York sports fans are known across the nation for passion and pride. Tony loves the Knicks and has regularly registered his pleasure and displeasure with their performance on the hardwood. Simply put, Tony was punished because he yelled something that someone at MSG did not like," said Amber W. Locklear, a partner at Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley, P.C. who is representing Rotondi. "The statements MSG made to the NYPD and later, to ING, were false and defamatory, and as a direct result, Tony was arrested and lost his job - an unreasonable and unjust price for any fan to pay."

About Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley, P.C.
Based in Redwood City, Calif. with offices throughout California, in New York City and in Boston, RMKB conducts a multi-service practice offering litigation and transactional services to domestic and international businesses and individuals. The firm's practice areas include appellate; corporate and business litigation; banking and consumer credit; construction; real estate; employment; entertainment; environmental; ERISA; professional liability; intellectual property; insurance coverage and bad faith; catastrophic injury; mass tort and class action; product liability; maritime and multimodal transportation; and asset protection, estate planning and taxation. For more information, visit www.rmkb.com.

Contact Information