BY JAY RIGDON
Jason Pierre-Paul’s legal action against ESPN and Adam Schefter is winding its way through the court system.
Pierre-Paul is claiming that ESPN and Schefter violated privacy laws when Schefter sent this tweet:
ESPN obtained medical charts that show Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had right index finger amputated today. pic.twitter.com/VI5cbS1uCw
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 8, 2015
(What follows should probably all come with a major caveat that this is far from an expert legal opinion.) That’s still up, which you might consider surprising. But then if ESPN’s stance is that they did nothing wrong by publishing it, deleting it could be construed as an admission of wrongdoing. But if those are medical records, and it says pretty much just that in the tweet, how is it not an open-and-shut case of a privacy violation?
Maybe, just maybe, it’s because Pierre-Paul authorized the release of that information? That’s what the initial argument is, according to court filings.
Following the point-by-point admit/deny/don’t know portion of the answer comes what the legal system calls “affirmative defenses.” It’s typically a laundry list of all potential arguments that could arise during the course of preparing the case for trial that would support an effort by the defendants to say, basically, “What you’re claiming may be true, but we still should win because of ___________.”
In this case, ESPN and Schefter claim that Pierre-Paul “authorized” the publication of his medical records. Which means, technically, that he gave the green light to the disclosure of his medical records to Schefter, and that Pierre-Paul likewise agreed to allow Schefter to publish the medical records to his Twitter following. If true, it makes me wonder why the litigation even exists.