The Gutkowski v. Steinbrenner complaint

The new bag policy: The terrorists have finally lost
Game 131: Those pesky Orioles

Over the weekend, I reported on a lawsuit filed against George Steinbrenner. Bob Gutkowski, formerly an executive at the MSG Network, has sued the Boss for damages up to around $43 million. He claims that George stole the YES Network idea from him and never delivered a promised job as head of the network or the compensation that would come with it.

Today, I secured a copy of the complaint for all of the RAB legal eagles to read. I haven’t had a chance to peruse it yet and probably won’t until later tonight. You can read it below in the Scribd embed or grab the PDF here. I’ll try to offer up some analysis over the next few days.

Gutkowski v. Steinbrenner

The new bag policy: The terrorists have finally lost
Game 131: Those pesky Orioles
  • goon

    someone go shoot that gutkowski guy in the head.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      [Knock knock]
      Goons: Goons.
      Homer: Who?
      Goons: Hired goons.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Abe Simpson: I thought I recognized you. I gave you a plate of corn muffins back in 1947 to paint my chicken coop. And you never did it.
    Chester J. Lampwick: Those corn muffins were lousy.
    Chester J. Lampwick: Make me!
    [Abe jumps on him, and they fight on the floor]

    • JGS

      Paint my fence!

      • pat

        Dude, you can’t interweb yell that at a black guy.

        • JGS

          I shall contextualize

          Lawyer: Krusty, have you ever seen this so-called animation genius before?
          Krusty: Yes I have.
          Lawyer: [surprised] You have?
          Krusty: I gave him a couple of blintzes to paint my fence, but he never did it!
          Chester: Those blintzes were terrible.
          Krusty: Paint my fence!
          Chester: Make me!

          • pat


            Yea I guess it makes sense now. I was jokin anyway.

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              wait…tjsc is black???

              ahhh…that shit’s even funnier now!!!

              all this time, i thought he was a middle aged white guy. i would totally drink a beer with him now!!!

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                What gave it away, the fact that one of my heroes is Tommie Smith or that the other is John Carlos?


                • Matt ACTY/BBD

                  I’m a 22 year old white kid from Greenwich, CT and I think those two guys are the balls, so it’s definitely possible.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I have a tattoo of two raised gloved fists on my shoulder.


      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        JGS, your blintzes were horrible.

  • Pablo Zevallos

    I’m no lawyer, but I don’t think he has a good case. It seems like he’s just jealous, because he had nothing written down, which makes this harder to prove, and he wasn’t part of the incorporating process or the corporate structure at all. The real case, in my mind, is more about intellectual property than all the money Gut didn’t make.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      his lawyer used ‘effected’ properly. that’s some scary shit there.

  • handtius

    Man, I can’t wait to sit down with stiff whiskey and not read this, ever.

    • pat


      • handtius


  • Glen L

    Unless discovery yields a great deal of info, or there is a great deal of docs not attached as exhibits, this probably won’t get passed summary judgment

    Also, there may be statute of limitations issues at play

    • POCKO

      No SoL for fraud.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        According to, New York State has a 6 year SoL on bringing actions against fraud.


      • Glen L

        Um .. that’s not correct at all. 6 years from the date of the fraud or 2 years from the discovery (or when it should have reasonably been discovered)

  • colin

    we both know im not gonna read all that

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    I read the whole thing. Once you read that he’s a ghost, go back and read it again. It’s so obvious the second time. The argument with his wife at dinner is the biggest catch.

  • Free Mike Vick

    Uh huh…yep…ok…i got it.

    ok finished reading it………and everything just flew over my head.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Here, I’ll boil it down for you to all that you really need to know:

      If Chewbacca is from Endor, you must acquit.

  • nathan

    If that lawyer gets anything out of this… he wud hv provde why he is a lawyer… all “verbal” and he cud still write 21 pages of it… beyond a point i had to check whether i was reading an earlier page.. it was the same thing over and over again… i cud however see an out of court settlement though..

    • Benjamin Kabak

      I’d put money on an out-of-court settlement. Even though I don’t believe Gutkowski could win in court, the Yankees aren’t going to want to take this to trial.

      • nathan

        Yep… agree.. too silly a case… too small an amount (in Steinbrenner terms…) heck they are paying Igawa 20 Mill.. if this guy indeed had some input then that is … way more than Igawa ever did.

      • VO


  • Avi Frisch

    This complaint is weak. Aside from the obvious fact that it never actually alleges that Steinbrenner did anything more than say he wanted to hire Gutkowski, without hiring him full time, it does not explain why Gutkowski is entitled to money for an idea he willingly gave Steinbrenner. There is no legal basis for saying I owe you money after I give you my idea for free. Nor does Gutkowski explain why the amounts he was paid as a consultant were insufficient to compensate him for his work.

    That is of course ignoring the fact that the statute of limitations on this have clearly run. The standard statute of limitations in New York is 6 years and applies to contract actions. Even if the fraud allegation held water (it doesn’t – as there does not seem to be an allegation of scienter or any act performed by Gutkowski in reliance on the fraud) it is still subject to the statute of limitations, I believe from discovery, but clearly he should have discovered by 2003 that there was no chance he was getting whatever he thought he was promised.

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