High school can be a tough enough time for kids. They don’t need libelous statements about them appearing on stadium scoreboards to boot. A Illinois woman is suing the St. Louis Cardinals for allowing a text message that falsely suggested her daughter has an sexually transmitted disease on the Busch Stadium scoreboard during a game.
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!"According to the lawsuit, the 17-year old was so traumatized by the message that she was forced to stay out of school the rest of the semester, taking her finals in a school office to avoid the scorn of her classmates. The woman is seeking $25,000 in damages, claiming that the team “published the text consciously disregarding whether the text was true or not.” Oh yeah, and she didn't have an STD.
The timing of the lawsuit is curious, as the game wasn’t this past season, and it wasn’t even at the end of the previous season. The terrible text occurred a year and a half ago! Has she been this traumatized since then?
But by necessity it seems this kind of promotion is hard to regulate efficiently. They’re charging money for the texts, which have to get up there quickly. Things will slip through the cracks. The lawsuit claims that they disregarded whether the text is true or not. Held up to that standard, nothing could make it up there. Does Jimmy really love Michelle? Are your parents really happily wishing you a happy birthday? These wouldn’t hold up either. All we’d be left with are factual statements, and you can’t charge $2.99 for those.