The PALM BEACH POST reports today that John Daly is suing beneficiaries of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach (FL) County court for $100 million because of an injury suffered during the tournament in 2007.
Originally filed two years ago, the lawsuit first sought financial damages from the owners of the PGA National Resort, the tournament’s venue. Daly has since named the PGA Tour and Children’s Healthcare Charity, a local non-profit funded almost entirely by Honda Classic proceeds, as defendants in his quest for nine figures.
The non-profit Children’s Healthcare Charity is co-chaired by Jack Nicklaus‘ wife Barbara, and their son, Gary. PGA Tour player Robert Allenby is almost a member of the Board of Directors.
So why is Daly making such huge financial demands?
In the lawsuit filing, Daly claims that the rib cage injury he suffered during the tournament was a result of tournament security malfeasance. The golfer alleges he was injured after a fan “jumped in front of him in mid-swing.”
Daly claims in the suit that he and other PGA Tour players had previously and unsuccessfully “tried three times before the incident to have security kick the unidentified woman off the course.”
The Post reports:
Each of the defendants proposed a settlement a month ago. A source close to the case said the proposals, sealed for now, amounted to “a fraction” of what Daly wants.
Thanks to his past off-course behavior and unwillingness to commit himself mentally and physically to golf, Daly has made it almost impossible for anyone to have sympathy for him.
But if repeated security breaches at the tournament did contribute to an injury that cost him entry in subsequent tournaments, there’s a case to be made for financial damages. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than just Daly’s accusations, but on the surface, it does appear he may have a claim. (Though $100M is beyond a stretch.)
Having a children’s charity named in a lawsuit like this is unfortunate, but in Daly’s case, more than likely necessary.
I can’t imagine a scenario where the charity would be fleeced of Honda Classic proceeds to pay Daly, but I guess you never know what could happen. You’d like to think there’s enough money in the game to prevent an ugly, public confrontation. As more of this story starts to bleed out, perhaps that will speed a settlement.
God I hope so.