Oakley's suit vs. Knicks' Dolan, MSG thrown out
A civil lawsuit filed by Charles Oakley against New York Knicks owner James Dolan and Madison Square Garden has been dismissed.
Oakley filed the lawsuit in 2017 following a February incident that year in which he had a run-in with security personnel at the Garden.
Oakley was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault, one misdemeanor count of aggravated harassment and one misdemeanor count of trespassing. He was also cited for two additional counts of harassment that are considered noncriminal violations. The criminal case was dismissed and sealed in 2018.
He had been seeking compensation to be determined by a jury for emotional distress and/or mental anguish, punitive damages, damages to Oakley's reputation and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
"This case has had the feel of a public relations campaign," U.S. Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan wrote in his decision to dismiss, "with the parties seemingly more interested in the court of public opinion than the merits of their legal arguments."
Judge Sullivan concluded: "Oakley has failed to allege a plausible legal claim that can meet federal pleading standards."
Madison Square Garden released a statement thanking the court for its decision.
"This was an incident that no one was happy about," the statement said. "Maybe now there can be peace between us."
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