Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Donald Sterling files wrongful termination against California NBA

After recorded conversations leaked, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, was banned from the NBA. Donald Sterling filed a wrongful termination claim in a California courtroom against the NBA and the Commissioner. He claimed that his constitutional rights were violated and that the contract was breached.

Sterling’s female companion recorded private conversations of him making racially biased comments. Since then, the NBA banned him and is planning on selling the team to the Microsoft CEO. According to the lawsuit, Sterling is requesting for his ban to be eliminated along with the $2.5 million fine he was issued. He’s also requesting damages of over $1 billion. The NBA stated that it’s expecting to rescind the plan to bar Sterling from owning the Clippers.

The Executive Vice President with the NBA stated that the lawsuit has no merit. Sterling was declared to be mentally incompetent, and his wife agreed to sell the Clippers in the amount of $2 billion. Sterling believes that the behavior of the NBA was intentional and malicious, and he seeks for their punishment so it does not happen again in the future.

Since the recording was obtained in an illegal manner, Sterling argues that it’s a violation of his constitutional rights. This may be true since he was under the assumption that he was having a private conversation, and he did not give consent to be recorded. It is unlawful for California employers and other companies to terminate someone out of retaliation. Individuals who have experienced similar events may have the right to file wrongful termination claims in a civil courtroom.

Source:, "Donald Sterling files $1 billion lawsuit against NBA", , May 31, 2014

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