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View Full Version : After failing to qualify, Vendt sues swimsuit maker



quicksilver
July 11th, 2008, 04:12 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/swimming/news/story?id=3481684


Less than a week after failing to qualify for an individual event at the U.S. swimming trials, Olympian Erik Vendt filed a countersuit Thursday against a California company that claims he broke his contract by choosing to wear a rival swimsuit.


Vendt made his own breach-of-contract claims against TYR Sport in the federal lawsuit filed in California. He also sued the company for slander, alleging that comments made by its attorney, Larry Hilton, have cost the swimmer other endorsement deals.


TYR went to federal court in May with an antitrust case that claims USA Swimming has been working with Speedo to ensure all Americans wear that company's LZR Racer suit at the Beijing Olympics, even if they have deals with other companies such as TYR.


Also named in the suit were U.S. head coach and general manager Mark Schubert, who has openly touted the benefits of the Speedo suit while also working as a paid spokesman for the company, and Vendt, who had an endorsement deal with TYR but switched to the LZR Racer this year.

geochuck
July 11th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Does this mean that anyone who loses that wears a LZR, can sue Speedo if they do not win?

Or sue USA Swimming for supplying them with a swim suit that did not come first?

Should a coach tell a swimmer what suit to wear especially when he is a paid representative of a company.

That is similar to the Prime Minister of Canada getting paid off to make sure that Air Canada bought a certain jet passenge plane.

knelson
July 11th, 2008, 04:42 PM
Why would it mean that, George? Vendt isn't suing Speedo, he's suing TYR.

ViveBene
July 11th, 2008, 04:50 PM
From the article, Vendt invoked the clause that allowed him to swim in a competitor's suit if Tyr failed to provide one of equal quality, and Tyr dropped its sponsorship 3 days later, and Tyr's attorney made some snarky remarks publicly.

Dunno what went on behind the scenes, as I think others have been able to swim in the LZR while under contract to other swim cos. without an eruption of hostilities, suits, and countersuits. (My impression...)

But part of Vendt's suit says he had tried the FastPro and found it better than what Tyr could offer some months ago, so why didn't he negotiate an exit then?
:dunno:
Oh well. 'S life.
VB

knelson
July 11th, 2008, 05:02 PM
From the article, Vendt invoked the clause that allowed him to swim in a competitor's suit if Tyr failed to provide one of equal quality

It's interesting they would have wording like this in the contract. Seems like a serious loophole. Now I guess it's up to TYR and Vendt to prove their side. In my opinion Vendt might have a tough road consdering swimmers were successful at Trials using the TYR Tracer Rise suit. Grevers and Shanteau, for example, both wore TYR suits at Trials and made the team.

geochuck
July 11th, 2008, 05:05 PM
I think he should have sued Speedo if he wore a speedo and did not win.

After all if you wear a LZR you have to be 2percent better.:violin::violin::violin:

FlyQueen
July 12th, 2008, 11:03 AM
It's interesting they would have wording like this in the contract. Seems like a serious loophole. Now I guess it's up to TYR and Vendt to prove their side. In my opinion Vendt might have a tough road consdering swimmers were successful at Trials using the TYR Tracer Rise suit. Grevers and Shanteau, for example, both wore TYR suits at Trials and made the team.

I believe the suit is for libel and slander ... and that TYR dragging him through the mud is why he has not gotten more sponsors. I was surprised to hear he didn't sign with Speedo, but perhaps since Speedo has a rather full house and figured Vendt would be wearing their stuff regardless they figured why bother ... who knows.

nyswimmer
July 12th, 2008, 01:39 PM
Remember, TYR didn't just make snarky remarks about Vendt -- this a counterclaim. They sued him first, by joining him in their anti-trust suit against Speedo. Vendt seems to have three claims against TYR: 1) libel and slander, 2) breach of contract (for failing to honor to the clause allowing him to use a competitor's suit) and, possibly, 3) malicious prosecution/abuse of process (for joining him in TYR's antitrust suit against Speedo). None of these claims has anything to do with his performance at trials.

Slid
July 12th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Pah! So "BIG SPORT" swimming comes down to which kex you wear. Ha, bl--dy ha.

Are the olympics actually worth watching?
Will we see anything except who has the best kit?

I suppose if the pharmacists rule the Tour de France
Maybe its only fair that the tailors rule the Olympic Swimming.

Bad day at Black Rock?

Blackbeard's Peg
July 14th, 2008, 07:30 AM
Remember, TYR didn't just make snarky remarks about Vendt -- this a counterclaim. They sued him first, by joining him in their anti-trust suit against Speedo. Vendt seems to have three claims against TYR: 1) libel and slander, 2) breach of contract (for failing to honor to the clause allowing him to use a competitor's suit) and, possibly, 3) malicious prosecution/abuse of process (for joining him in TYR's antitrust suit against Speedo). None of these claims has anything to do with his performance at trials.

Correcto. The only thing this suit has to do with trials is that it is being done after them.

The Fortress
July 14th, 2008, 09:26 AM
Correcto. The only thing this suit has to do with trials is that it is being done after them.

I could have sworn I read that Vendt alleged in his counterclaim that the lawsuit effected his preparation and training for the trials. Not that he could ever prove damages ...

born2fly
July 14th, 2008, 10:28 AM
Nothing like another frivolous lawsuit. Why not just sue his coach also for poor preparation, and sue people who designed the pool. Maybe he had a bad breakfest at the pancake house and he can sue them also for having indigestion while he swam.

ViveBene
July 14th, 2008, 11:14 AM
I think he has to countersue. That's the way the game is played, and that is (most likely) what TYR was expecting.

Vendt's timing in bringing it to public consciousness is something I don't understand. Yes, he has to defend himself. It may be psychological: if he figures he has lost in the swimming arena in important ways, perhaps he can recoup in another arena. His times must have been blindingly disappointing to him. So he decided to respond now rather than wait til after the Olympics. </speculation>

:blah:

VB

knelson
July 14th, 2008, 11:37 AM
His times must have been blindingly disappointing to him.

He set new personal bests in both the 200 free and 400 free. His only poor swim was the 1500 finals.

geochuck
July 14th, 2008, 11:53 AM
Countersue TYR that would mean it is a CounterSuit
Which is the proper word???

Countersue or CounterSuit

Maybe Fort could answer this?

hofffam
July 14th, 2008, 01:20 PM
I think this is an interesting game. If Vendt's contract allowed him to race in a non-Tyr suit that is some impressive negotiation on his part. If the contract didn't spell out consequences - then Tyr had some bad lawyers or they REALLY needed Vendt's services.

If I were Tyr - as soon as Vendt raced in Speedo I would have fired him unless the contract didn't allow it.

As a separate issue - I think Schubert's conduct throughout this has been despicable. He is a paid Speedo spokesman. He can't prove Speedo is faster so he cannot as a USA-S leader almost force their swimmers to race in Speedo.

geochuck
July 14th, 2008, 01:25 PM
Should a coach tell a swimmer what suit to wear especially when he is a paid representative of a company.

I posted this before.

Should said coach be allowed to coach the Olympic team. I think he has lost his right to coach the team.

Or maybe the USA Olympic Association is getting the payoff.

hofffam
July 14th, 2008, 01:34 PM
Should a coach tell a swimmer what suit to wear especially when he is a paid representative of a company.

I posted this before.

Should said coach be allowed to coach the Olympic team. I think he has lost his right to coach the team.

Or maybe the USA Olympic Association is getting the payoff.

I think a coach can suggest what suit to wear.

I think a coach should be allowed to earn a living by just about any legal means. Policies and a code of conduct should be able to manage potential conflicts of interest. But it seems Schubert isn't bound by any such rules or he wouldn't behave the way he has.

I assume all USA swimmers will wear the special LZR - I think the TEAM can require the athletes to wear the official equipment.

thewookiee
July 14th, 2008, 02:30 PM
I assume all USA swimmers will wear the special LZR - I think the TEAM can require the athletes to wear the official equipment.

From years past, the team members have been allowed to wear the suits they feel most comfortable in. During the 2004 games, a number of them wore Nike. In 2000, some wore Adidas suits.

I think USA swimming will encourage them to wear the ugly lzr suit but won't force them too.

nyswimmer
July 14th, 2008, 06:11 PM
Nothing like another frivolous lawsuit. Why not just sue his coach also for poor preparation, and sue people who designed the pool. Maybe he had a bad breakfest at the pancake house and he can sue them also for having indigestion while he swam.

For all practical purposes, Vendt has no choice but to raise this now. TYR initiated the suit, not Vendt (TYR sued him for alleged anti-trust violations -- which strikes me as a potentially more frivolous than his claim of slander). Under the rules in Federal court, counterclaims are generally "compulsory;" if Vendt doesn't raise his claims now, in response to TYR's suit, he waives them. Besides it's usually bad litigation strategy to assume a purely defensive posture. Vendt would be seriousy handicapped in defending himself if he didn't raise these claims now (and his time to do so under court rules may be running out, so he may not be able to wait until after the Olympics).

nyswimmer
July 14th, 2008, 06:17 PM
Countersue TYR that would mean it is a CounterSuit
Which is the proper word???

Countersue or CounterSuit

Maybe Fort could answer this?

Actually, it's neither. As my law school professors constantly reminded me, in Federal court the correct terms are "claim" and "counterclaim."
/ pedantry

ourswimmer
July 14th, 2008, 06:41 PM
(and his time to do so under court rules may be running out, so he may not be able to wait until after the Olympics).

Actually, he had agreed with TYR (or, more accurately, his lawyers had agreed with TYR's lawyers) that he could postpone responding at all to the suit until early September, after the Olympics. Not clear why his team chose despite that agreement to go ahead and do it now, but maybe it does have something to do in their minds with the trials or the Games.

nyswimmer
July 14th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Actually, he had agreed with TYR (or, more accurately, his lawyers had agreed with TYR's lawyers) that he could postpone responding at all to the suit until early September, after the Olympics. Not clear why his team chose despite that agreement to go ahead and do it now, but maybe it does have something to do in their minds with the trials or the Games.

I suppose that since he's not going to the Games, in his mind (or, more likely, his lawyers' minds) at least, there may not be any reason to wait.

geochuck
July 14th, 2008, 07:27 PM
I like the idea of a countersuit reason Swim suits, TYR or LZR. It is my comedic release.

Actually, it's neither. As my law school professors constantly reminded me, in Federal court the correct terms are "claim" and "counterclaim."
/ pedantry

Allen Stark
July 14th, 2008, 07:48 PM
As a separate issue - I think Schubert's conduct throughout this has been despicable. He is a paid Speedo spokesman. He can't prove Speedo is faster so he cannot as a USA-S leader almost force their swimmers to race in Speedo.

I don't know if I'd go so far as to say despicable.I think it was a mistake,and a conflict of interest,but now a days most coaches have some corporate tie ins(think college basketball coaches and shoes.)He probably thought it was true when he said it(and it was inappropiate for him to say it.)

knelson
July 15th, 2008, 12:15 AM
I suppose that since he's not going to the Games

No, he's on the team. He made it in the 200 free by finishing sixth.

KeithM
July 15th, 2008, 02:24 AM
It was not a smart move to bring the lawsuit against Erik. TYR might have hoped to ride out the swimsuit storm. But they're going to have great difficulty attracting new athletes well into the future even if their product becomes more competitive. Agents are going to avoid them.

craiglll@yahoo.com
July 15th, 2008, 02:40 AM
It was not a smart move to bring the lawsuit against Erik. TYR might have hoped to ride out the swimsuit storm. But they're going to have great difficulty attracting new athletes well into the future even if their product becomes more competitive. Agents are going to avoid them.

Keith,

Great idea. Also, when I was in high school we were handed 2 suits. One was for traingin and i'm sure they were whatever was cheap. the other one was in our school colors.

Could this type of a claim be brought up in any other sport besides maybe track?

hofffam
July 15th, 2008, 01:15 PM
I agree the legal action against Vendt is risky for TYR. Surely every one of their athletes has gone back and revisited their contract with TYR to be sure they don't get in trouble. TYR surely considered this and decided it was worth it. Vendt must have really pissed them off.

lefty
July 15th, 2008, 01:30 PM
No, he's on the team. He made it in the 200 free by finishing sixth.


yeah I think the title of this thread is misleading. It suggests that Vendt might be bitter. He did not qualify individually, but in fairness his shot at a gold medal is great.

quicksilver
July 15th, 2008, 03:33 PM
yeah I think the title of this thread is misleading. It suggests that Vendt might be bitter. He did not qualify individually, but in fairness his shot at a gold medal is great.

Yep. The ESPN writer actually phrased it that way.
It made it sound as if he was suing because he didn't qualify.


Wonder what the reaction would have been if he did qualify?

Interesting to note that he wears a TYR cap and goggles.
http://www.erikvendtonline.com/

nyswimmer
July 15th, 2008, 06:18 PM
I like the idea of a countersuit reason Swim suits, TYR or LZR. It is my comedic release.

Well, with that attitude you'd get an F in Civil Procedure. :p