Entries in Lawsuits (2)


Man Sues Fishing Group Over $1M Prize

Courtesy Rodney Ply(DIAMOND CITY, Ark.) -- Talk about one that got away.  An Arkansas man who caught a record 68-pound striped bass sued the International Game Fish Association for denying him a $1 million prize in their contest.

Rodney Ply, 41, of Diamond City, Ark., entered the “Hook-a-Million” contest, which offered a $1 million prize for any angler who caught a fish that broke a world record using a Mustad-brand hook. Mustad promoted the contest but is not named as a defendant.

Ply said he is not a professional fisherman and didn’t want “to go legal.”

“They just left me no choice,” he said.

“I love to fish,” he said. “I’m just an everyday fisherman.” The biggest prize Ply previously received in another tournament was $2,000. Ply owns North Arkansas Concrete and is an Army veteran.

“I’m just lucky and fortunate to catch a fish that broke a world record,” he said.

On Feb. 18, 2012, Ply caught the striped bass, one of the contest’s eligible species, according to his complaint filed last month. However, in October, the International Game Fish Association’s executive committee “denied certification of the fish, enigmatically classifying the lure plaintiff used as an illegal spreader bar,” the lawsuit states.

A spokesman for the association declined to comment to ABC News.

Ply said he did not use a spreader bar, but instead used a homemade  spinnerbait lure, which typically has a blade-shaped object to spin like a propeller. He said his homemade object ”cannot reasonably or in good faith be classified as a spreader bar,” according to the lawsuit.

Ply claims he followed the contest’s rules and sent photos of the fish hanging from an approved scale, the lure that he made, his rod and reel, and the 68-pound fish.

John White, owner of Fisherman’s Outfitter in Gloucester, Mass., who is not involved in this lawsuit, said a spreader bar emulates a school of fish.

White said spinnerbait lures are usually much larger than spreader bars. One example of spreader bar that White makes and sells is 48-inches wide with multiple lures attached to it.

Spreader bars are typically a bar with a lure attached to it, in various configurations. Only one lure typically has the hook in it, White said.

Eric Rudenberg of Rudenberg and Glasser, the law firm representing Ply, said he expects the association will be served with the lawsuit in the coming days. The association then has 20 days to respond.

“This is a typical David and Goliath story,” Rudenberg said.

“Mr. Ply is your average hardworking decorated veteran who was invited to compete in a competition and as an avid angler he was excited about fulfilling any fisherman’s dream, which is to catch a world record fish,” said Michael Glasser, law firm partner with Rudenberg. ”He followed all the rules and he was blessed and gifted enough to succeed at something that everyone dreams of and all he wants is what was promised to him.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Petraeus Scandal: Socialite Jill Kelley Fighting Back

Tampa Bay Magazine(NEW YORK) -- Tampa socialite Jill Kelley is fighting back. Tuesday, sources close to the woman who was caught in the media crossfire during the David Petraeus sex scandal have released new letters aimed at reclaiming her reputation.

In one, Kelley's attorney goes after a New York businessman who claimed Kelley was using her connections to Petraeus to broker a deal with the South Korean government.

"It is impossible to overlook your attempt to get your '15 minutes of fame,'" attorney Abbe Lowell wrote to Adam Victor, the president and CEO of TransGas Development Systems. "…You have the right to do that to yourself, but you do not have the right to defame our client."

"This letter is notice to you that statements you have made are false and defamatory and are intended to portray Ms. Kelley in a false light," the letter continued.

Victor has claimed that Kelley asked for $80 million in commissions to arrange a deal between Victor and the South Korean government. Kelley was an honorary consul for the Republic of South Korea.

"While it is certainly true that Ms. Kelley communicated with you about a potential business deal, it has nothing to do with General Petraeus or other military," Lowell wrote Victor.

The dealings between Jill Kelley and Adam Victor were detailed in a series of emails between the two made public earlier this month. The emails appeared to confirm the New York businessman's claim that Kelley wanted a huge fee for brokering a transaction with the South Korean government.

But in his letter to Victor, Lowell denies that Kelley wanted anything close to $80 million, and says the full chain of emails reveal that "it was you (Victor) who were trying to capitalize on her contacts, and not the other way around."

Kelley and Victor were introduced at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August by Kelley's friend, Tampa real estate developer Don Phillips. In an interview with ABC News, Phillips said he suggested that Kelley and Victor should meet because Kelley could help Victor land a deal for a coal gasification plant in South Korea.

Phillips claimed that Kelley said that Victor tried to "proposition" her "almost immediately," and said he had to cajole her into flying to New York for a second meeting with Victor.

After she met with Victor in New York, Phillips said, Kelley reported that she was no longer interested in pursuing the deal. According to Phillips, she said, "As a result of my personal investigations and business intelligence this is just not going anywhere, Don, and you just don't want to associate with this guy."

Victor, who denies propositioning Kelley, claimed she continued pushing for the deal after their meeting in New York. But sources close to Kelley say that telephone voice messages Victor left for Kelley reveal that he was the one who continued to seek Kelley's involvement, even after the Petraeus affair came to light.

Victor also claims that Kelley told him Petraeus arranged for her to be named honorary consul, and that she could use her connections with high-level Korean officials to help land the coal plant deal.

None of the emails that Victor showed to ABC News mention Petraeus. Kelley's friend Don Phillips told ABC News that Kelley has not "in any way tried to profit" from her relationship with Petraeus.

Sources close to Kelley also say a complaint about Kelley's former attorney was filed with the Florida Consumer Assistance Program, charging that he may have violated attorney-client privilege by holding a news conference and speaking about Kelley.

In addition, a letter from Kelley's lawyer was dispatched to the Department of Justice, asking if there will be an investigation of how his clients' names leaked to the media.

Victor told ABC News he has not yet received the letter that was released to selected reporters Tuesday evening, but after being told of its contents Victor said it appears to be a frivolous complaint.

"I don't know what they're upset about. I've said nothing derogatory about Ms. Kelley and have only told the facts as I know them, in fact much of what I've said was complimentary," Victor said.

As to charges of inappropriate behavior, Victor said he was mystified. He told ABC News he had only met Kelley in the presence of his female chief of staff and received gracious follow up emails from Kelley afterwards.

Victor said he did indeed contact Kelley after the Petraeus scandal broke, but mainly to find out what was going on.

Requests for comment from the Kelleys' Florida attorney were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio