Lawsuit: Cards negligent in running STD text message on ballpark screen

Updated: November 8, 2007, 7:44 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- An Illinois woman is suing the St. Louis Cardinals for allowing a text message that falsely suggested her daughter has a sexually transmitted disease to be posted on the ballpark's message board during a game.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court, claims the 17-year-old girl was so traumatized by the message last year during a class trip that she stayed out of school the rest of the semester and took her finals in a school office to avoid ridicule.

The lawsuit seeks at least $25,000 in damages from the Cardinals, alleging the ballclub negligently failed to properly screen the messages, which fans may submit for a small fee to display on Busch Stadium's electronic message board.

The Cardinals "published the text consciously disregarding whether the text was true or not," the lawsuit reads.

Messages left Thursday with the Cardinals and the family's attorney, Bob Perica of Wood River, Ill., were not immediately returned.

The lawsuit, which identifies the mother only as "C.B." and the daughter as "A.B.," does not name a classmate who allegedly posted the message.

According to the lawsuit, the teenager was with her classmates at Busch for a game against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, 2006, when a girl schoolmate called the ballpark's message board and, using the daughter's name, texted, "(A.B.) has an STD! Eww!"

Workers for or agents of the Cardinals "approved the message to go on the board," and it was posted during the game that drew a turnout of more than 48,000, the lawsuit claims.

The teenager never has had a sexually transmitted disease, according to the suit.

The Cardinals "owed a duty of reasonable care to all fans in attendance," including the teenager, and breached that by posting the defamatory message "to anyone who could read," the lawsuit alleges.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press