Thursday, February 12, 2009

Roberto Alomar Might Be A Scumbag, But It's Not Going To Cost Him $15M

"...I'm sorry, I wish it was something less seeeeeriousss."

You know, Robby, despite all the hard feelings between us over the years, deep down we Mets fans always knew you were a class act. Your "blockbuster" acquisition in 2001 actually did more harm than good by dashing our audacious hopes for a meaningful season during one of the franchise's darkest periods since the Worst Team Money Could Buy. You still left your mark in club record books folklore by batting a scorching .266, mashing 15 really-long balls, and slugging a brawny .376. Nor have we forgotten those 11 adorable times that your once-golden glove let those silly, tricky lil' hops squirt through the infield for errors. Nope, you kept the "asshole second baseman" tradition - which began with Jeff Kent - alive in Flushing; that torch is now safely held in the geriatric, osteoporosis-riddled hand of Luis Castillo.

So Roberto Alomar has AIDS, and his ex-girlfriend (Ilya Dall) is suing him for $15 million for allegedly insisting on having unprotected sex with her. Where to begin with this story? Well first of all, the plaintiff is a former female arm wrestler , appears to be some species of cougar, and is a current proprietor of a "massage spa" in Queens. I guess one can't be too selective when he [at least suspects he] has an incurable, contagious disease that spawns male yeast infections.

The allegations themselves are less amusing. I don't know whether to laugh somewhat inappropriately or cringe. It strangely hits home, perhaps because Robby - though an oft-cursed part of our past - was nevertheless a Met for whom I rooted (I have never, nor will I ever boo a Met while he's a Met, including Heilman). Moreover, his father Sandy is the Mets' current bench coach, and has been in the organization for a while now - though he claims he somehow had no idea that his son had AIDS.

The health details provided by the Daily News - presumably scooped from Dall's complaint - are harrowing and just plain sad: chest masses, shingles, mouth foaming, spinal taps; the kind of stuff I wouldn't wish upon Shane Victorino (I'm pretty sure). Furthermore, the story reports that Alomar allegedly told Dall that he had contracted AIDS when he was raped by two Mexican men after playing a ballgame in New Mexico or a Southwestern state when he was 17. Whether or not the assault was the cause of his disease, it's still awful and makes me feel bad for Alomar; if true, I doubt he had access to proper physical & mental health channels as a minor leaguer in the 80's.

However, if what Dall alleges is in fact true, Alomar is a pretty huge scumbag. In the legal sense, in New York, acting with a substantial certainty that a particular harm will occur (in this case, that Dall would likely be infected with HIV) constitutes an intentional tort. Even if Alomar didn't know or suspect that he had HIV or AIDS - which I find extremely hard to believe given the circumstances in the story - he could be found liable in a garden-variety negligence claim; any reasonable person in his situation would've or should've known that insisting on unprotected sense was wrongful conduct. Though I don't know offhand, in some states Alomar's alleged conduct might even constitute criminal liability, on some sort of super recklessness charge.

That's not to say Dall is completely blameless. If you were a woman even considering having sex with someone whom you suspect might have, oh I don't know, AIDS, wouldn't you at the very least not let him rawdog you, and maybe even condition entrance to your va-jay-jay on his consenting to an STD test? The fact that Dall had consensual sex with Alomar despite her suspicions might allow Alomar to raise an "assumption of risk" or "comparative negligence" defense- that Dall voluntarily took on the risk of possibly contracting AIDS or is at least partly responsible, respectively. Finally, there's no way Dall is getting $15M even if she wins. If a sympathetic/stupid jury actually gives her that much, it's likely to be set aside by an appellate court.

Furthermore, in order to be found liable, there has to have been an actual harm (damages). I haven't read the complaint, but the Daily News reports that Dall is claiming $15 million in punitive damages for emotional distress and suffering. Not only are such damages completely arbitrary and abstract (how do you value "emotional distress?" And shouldn't she just be psyched she didn't get the HIV?), when it comes to damages, the court will generally be concerned with restoring the plaintiff to his/her state before the harm occurred; punitive damages are only levied when the state wants to deter future actors (usually corporations) of doing the same thing. I doubt there are a bunch of crazy, AIDS-infected scumbags out there following this case closely ready to act accordingly. In fact, I'll bet Big Willie Style $20 that Alomar moves for summary judgment and the case is thrown out of court before jury selection begins. Of course, there's always the possibility that Alomar and Dall will settle, but since Dall's seeking Kevin Brown's yearly salary during his pre-dugout wall-punching days on the Dodgers, and since Alomar probably needs whatever funds he can round up for some Magic Johnson-quality AIDS treatment, I'm not sure how likely he is to settle.

Alomar moved the suit from State Supreme Court in Queens to Federal District Court in Brooklyn - right next door to me. Alomar is allowed to do this because he is a citizen of a different state than Dall ("diversity jurisdiction"), and was probably worried that a Queens jury and/or court would be biased against him - perhaps because of his awful tenure with the Mets.

As an aside, I find it hilarious that after Alomar infamously spit in umpire John Hirschbeck's face, fellow umpire Al Clark felt the need to publicly suggest that Hischbeck insist that Alomar get tested for AIDS. I find this funny for two reasons: 1) Wouldn't it make more sense and be easier for Hirschbeck himself to get tested? 2) I believe it was in 5th grade, during sex-ed, when we learned that "[y]ou can't get AIDS from Bobby from hugging him, or using the same drinking fountain as him, or shaking his hand..." Also, why "AIDS?" Were there rumors circulating in 1996 among MLB's inner circles that Alomar was a silent carrier? Bizarre, right?

If the case makes it past preliminary motions, which I doubt it will, I might try and sit in on some of the trial proceedings. Just think: an embedded Fack Youk blogger bringing you late-breaking Robby Alomar AIDS trial updates from inside the Federal Courthouse.

That sounds like a lot of work though; I'd probably need to get me some aides.


  1. When I read this story on CNN - and saw the "full blown AIDS" diagnosis - I immediately thought of the Family Guy song and chuckled. Well done.

  2. I had to muster all my restraint to not link the Family Guy song to an article I wrote about this elsewhere, but I was definitely singing to myself. "Not HIV but full blown AIIIIDDDSSSSS....."
    Meanwhile, maybe Robbie was just trying to lose some weight and eating Subway wasn't quite enough

  3. Great post. I would like to thank you for the refresher on 28 USC 1441. Also, I wonder if Dall spat or swallowed with respect to Robbie.

  4. Haha, no problem. Since I have not yet landed a summer job, I can lend my services to fine sports blogs like this one.

  5. We are not accepting applications at this time. All our legal problems are handled in the following manner:

    "Fuck you, sue us! We're headquartered in Panama anyway."