PHILADELPHIA – A former New York Mets baseball player alleges a Japanese team he also played for provided false information regarding a contract.
Zachary Lutz of Barto filed a complaint on Aug. 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Rakuten Inc., Rakuten Baseball Inc. and Hiroshi Mikitani alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation and other counts.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff contracted with the defendants to play for the Japanese team the Rakuten Golden Eagles for the 2014 season. He alleges after three months of negotiations for the 2015 contract, the defendants reneged on the terms and kept him on the team's reserve list. He alleges that while on the reserve list, other professional baseball teams could not contact him.
The suit states the plaintiff was "forced" to sign a contract with a South Korean team for "substantially less compensation and benefits."
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendants for compensatory damages, punitive damages, court costs, interest and any further relief the court grants. He is represented by Kenneth A. Jacobsen of Jacobsen Law Offices LLC in Wallingford.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 5:17-cv-03895-JLS