A federal judge dismissed Tuesday a lawsuit filed by former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling alleging his wife, the National Basketball Association and several other actors colluded to sell the team for $2 billion without his permission.
U.S. District Court Judge Fernando Olguin found all of Sterling’s claims for relief unpersuasive and dismissed both the antitrust and due-process claims his attorneys put forward.
“In short, Sterling cannot show that the NBA parties deprived him of a constitutionally protected interest,” the judge’s order reads.
Sterling’s attorney, Bobby Samini of Newport Beach-based Samini Scheinberg, said in a statement his client would explore options for appeal and decide whether or not to re-file certain claims in state court. Samini maintains that Sterling’s rights were violated during the sale.
“It is impossible to believe that, in any other circumstance, a private conversation could be recorded and distributed without an individual’s consent or that private medical information could be made public in this manner all without consequence,” the statement reads.
The case was filed in May 2014 shortly after the sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. It alleged an intricate conspiracy by the NBA, Shelly Sterling and other actors to pry the team from Donald Sterling’s control after racist comments made to his mistress V. Stiviano were leaked to TMZ and went viral.
A spokesman for the NBA declined to comment.
Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Century City-based Pierce O’Donnell of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger, said he welcomed the court's decision.
“The Federal judge’s dismissal ... puts a merciful end to (Sterling's) quixotic litigation campaign over the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers for the record-shattering price of $2 billion," O'Donnell said in a statement. "With all of his other lawsuits dismissed, this is the final chapter.”
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom represented the NBA in the case.