MLB umpire Joe West awarded $500K in damages against retired ballplayer Paul Lo Duca

Joe West MLB umpire
Posted at 4:47 PM, Apr 13, 2021

Major League Baseball umpire Joe West was awarded $500,000 in damages by the New York Supreme Court in a defamation lawsuit against retired catcher Paul Lo Duca.

On Monday, New York Supreme Court Justice John J. Kelley issued his decision in a lawsuit filed in October 2019, The Associated Press reported.

According to USA Today, West sued the former All-Star catcher after Lo Duca alleged during a podcast that West gave New York Mets pitcher Bill Wagner a bigger strike zone in exchange for letting the umpire borrow a vintage car.

The AP reported that Lo Duca went on to say on the podcast that West ejected him eight or nine times.

West denied those claims, stating in the lawsuit that he only ejected Lo Duca once.

According to The AP, Wagner did not pitch in the only Mets-Phillies game that West worked behind the plate during 2006 and 2007.

USA Today reported that West was incensed because Lo Duca’s comments damaged his integrity and character.

The judge also awarded West $250,000 "for past mental anguish and emotional distress.