A Texas judge last Thursday dismissed a $1 million lawsuit against Manny Pacquiao, ruling that Pacquiao’s opponent in the lawsuit, Imperial ED Promotions, had committed “egregious litigation misconduct” and perpetrated a fraud by doctoring a document, according to court papers obtained by RingTV.com.
Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, the Chief Judge of the federal court in Southern Texas, threw out the suit that was filed against Pacquiao in November of 2010 claiming that the fighter failed to appear at a September promotional event in McAllen, Texas.
Imperial ED charged that Pacquiao was to meet fans and sign autographs at an event two months prior to the Filipino star’s unanimous decision victory over Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Nov. 13.
Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, said that Pacquiao was not paid the money he was owed.
Earlier this year, Pacquiao’s lawyers, led by David Marroso, a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based law firm O’Melveny and Myers, questioned whether the right plaintiff had brought the case.
Marroso contended that Pacquiao had signed a contract with a man named Edmundo Lozano, but that Imperial ED Promotions, which is managed by Lozano, had filed the lawsuit.
In response to Pacquiao’s motion, Imperial Ed produced a document in July of last year which it claimed was a justification of its right to sue.
But Pacquiao’s attorneys questioned the validity of the document and requested an opportunity for an ink-dating expert to test the paper to determine whether it had been fabricated and backdated.
After reviewing what Marroso described as “hundreds of pages of papers and expert reports,” Hinojosa ruled that the document had been doctored, determined a fraud had been committed, and dismissed the lawsuit against Pacaquiao.
In addition, Hinojosa left open the possibility that Imperial ED could be required to “reimburse Pacquiao for the attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in uncovering Imperial ED’s misconduct regarding the Assignment and Assumption Agreement,” according to the court papers.
Pacquiao hopes that the decision discourages “unscrupulous plaintiffs” seeking to “cash in” on Pacquiao, according to Marroso.
“Over the last several years, as his popularity increased, Manny has become a target,” said Marroso. “People are filing baseless lawsuits against Manny seeking hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars. They just want the chance to hit the lottery against him.
Koncz said “Manny took a stand on this case,” adding, “he said he would fight this, tooth and nail, until his name was cleared and until these people learn that you’re not going to extort him. Our lawyers did a tremendous job.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]