Expert Report Creates Further Contention in Court

The legal battle continues between the PGA Tour and pro golfer Vijay Singh. The lawsuit stems from a suspension that Singh received following a Sports Illustrated interview where Singh admitted to using deer antler spray, which contained a substance banned by the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program. On April 30, 2013, the PGA Tour released a statement that the suspension had been lifted following further information provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and an investigation into the matter.

Following the release and reversal of the suspension, Vijay Singh sued the PGA Tour. He claimed that the announcement and the suspension damaged his reputation and caused him to lose a long-term endorsement deal. Throughout the ordeal, things have become heated. According to Singh’s attorney, the Commissioner stormed out of the deposition after refusing to answer direct questions. Furthermore, the attorney strongly criticized the PGA Tour by saying “either the PGA Tour was woefully ignorant or woefully arrogant, but, either, way it was woefully irresponsible and Vijay suffered as a result.”

Most recently, both sides filed expert reports regarding Singh’s lawsuit. On May 8, 2015, the plaintiff’s initial report was filed by Don Donovan. Donovan, the founder of Baker Street Solutions, a behavior marketing consultant, reported that the plaintiff’s corporate sponsorships were low compared to those of golfers less known than Singh. This in itself is not a problem

However, Donovan filed a second report, and included survey data collected before the first filing on June 26, 2015.

According to the PGA Tour, “federal courts routinely hold that an expert may not advance new arguments for the first time in a reply expert report. Citing previous case law, “slipping these new arguments into a rebuttal report was a clear-cute form of sandbagging and was simply unfair.” The plaintiff rejected the argument, claiming that the second report did not add new information. It simply clarified conclusions and determinations previously reached.

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