Judge Dismisses Patrick Reed’s Defamation Lawsuits

Both of Patrick Reed’s defamation lawsuits, which totaled 18 defendants, have been thrown out by a federal judge.

Timothy J. Corrigan, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, listed several reasons for dismissing the litigation against Golf Channel, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and others that sought at least $1 billion in damages combined. 

“Because Reed is a public figure, he must sufficiently allege facts showing actual malice by the defendants to maintain his claims,” Corrigan wrote in the 78-page order. “To satisfy this standard, Reed must allege facts sufficient to give rise to a reasonable inference that the false statement was made ‘with the knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.’

“Reed’s amended complaints in both lawsuits fall short of alleging sufficient facts showing that any Defendant had actual malice. This deficiency is fatal to each defamation claim.”

Corrigan dismissed the amended complaints with prejudice, meaning the claims can’t be refiled.

Reed’s attorney, Larry Klayman, was not happy with the decision and criticized Judge Corrigan and his motivations. 

“The decision was seriously flawed — factually and legally — and showed [Corrigan had] a mindset against Patrick,” Klayman told Front Office Sports.

Reed filed his first defamation case against Golf Channel and Chamblee in a Texas federal court last year. Klayman dismissed that case and re-filed it in Florida along with a second lawsuit. 

Although he allowed Reed to file amended complaints, Corrigan initially dismissed both cases. 

“There is no reason to think that a third amended complaint would be different,” Corrigan wrote in the decision. “These overwhelming deficiencies, coupled with his failed attempt at pleading both complaints, demonstrate that further amendment would be futile.”

Of all of the claims that Reed found defamatory, Corrigan only found that one of the claims “may be defamatory, but none of the other alleged statements survive the motions to dismiss.” 

That was related to a New York Post story reposted from the book The Cup They Couldn’t Lose by Shane Ryan. It detailed Reed’s time at The University of Georgia and allegations of him stealing from teammates.