The Gutkowski v. Steinbrenner complaint


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

Categories : News


  1. goon says:

    someone go shoot that gutkowski guy in the head.

  2. 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]

  3. 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.

  4. handtius says:

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

  5. Glen L says:

    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

  6. colin says:

    we both know im not gonna read all that

  7. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    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.

  8. Free Mike Vick says:

    Uh huh…yep…ok…i got it.

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

  9. nathan says:

    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..

  10. Avi Frisch says:

    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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