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Federal judge dismisses sign-stealing lawsuit against Major League Baseball
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Federal judge dismisses sign-stealing lawsuit against Major League Baseball

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed class action lawsuit Friday against Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox.

The plaintiffs are five individuals who participated in fantasy baseball contests through DraftKings Inc. The plaintiffs alleged the defendants’ practices of sign-stealing deceived and compromised their wagers. The plaintiffs claimed fraud, negligence, unjust enrichment and consumer protection violations.

Major League Baseball rules forbid the use of electronic devices to steal an opposing catcher’s signs. Judge Jed Rakoff stated in his opinion, “the Houston Astros, and somewhat less blatantly the Boston Red Sox, shamelessly broke that rule, and thereby broke the hearts of all true baseball fans.”

Rakoff concluded, “the connection between the alleged harm plaintiffs suffered and defendants’ conduct is simply too attenuated to support any of plaintiffs’ claims for relief.” Rakoff explained the plaintiffs did not provide enough facts or information to show their harm was caused by the defendant’s sign-stealing practices.