Cardinals ordered to pay former VP Terry McDonough $3M for defamation

There is a ruling the arbitration claim former Arizona Cardinals executive Terry McDonough filed claiming wrongful termination and defamation, among other things.

According to ESPN’s Tisha Thompson, an NFL arbitrator ruled the Cardinals must pay McDonough $3 million for “false and defamatory” statements the team released to the public.

However, McDonough’s other original claims of unlawful retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy were dismissed.

He alleged that he was retaliated against when the team allegedly had burner phones to communicate with general manager Steve Keim in the summer of 2018 during his team-imposed suspension for a July DUI arrest and he expressed that he was not comfortable with doing it.

What is interesting is that the arbitrator found that the team did use burner phones, which might cause the league to dole out a punishment to the organization.

However, it was not found that the Cardinals prevented McDonough from getting a GM job elsewhere.

What led to the $3 million ruling were the statements the Cardinals released publicly about McDonough, detailing domestic abuse and child neglect.

In the ruling, it was found that the Cardinals “published the defamatory statements with actual malice.”

Testimony in the case from McDonough’s wife did not substantiate the alleged abuse.

McDonough sought more than $100 million from the Cardinals between lost wages, emotional distress, reputational harm and punitive damages.

The ultimate award is broken down as $150,000 in general harm to his reputation, $600,000 for emotiona distress and $2.25 million in punitive damages.

Now we get to wait and see if the league will punish the Cardinals at all for what happened.

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire