LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A federal judge dismissed former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s $600 million antitrust lawsuit against the National Basketball League, court papers obtained Wednesday show.
Sterling sued the NBA for more than $1 billion in damages immediately after his wife Shelly agreed in May 2014 to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
The league countersued, alleging that Sterling harmed the league with a widely broadcast racist rant about blacks.
Attorneys for the 81-year-old Sterling amended the suit last year to include as defendants the last two NBA commissioners, Adam Silver and David Stern; Sterling’s wife, Shelly; and two doctors who found him mentally incapable of continuing as the Clippers owner.
In a 13-page order dated Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin wrote that the court is “skeptical Sterling suffered any injury at all, let alone an antitrust injury” and described other portions of the lawsuit as “clearly implausible.”
Pierce O’Donnell, the attorney for Shelly Sterling, said the judge’s order “put a merciful end” to the billionaire’s “quixotic litigation campaign” over the Clippers sale.
His lawsuit alleged that the NBA was part of a conspiracy that included Silver, Shelly Sterling and others to remove him after 33 years as the Clippers owner.
In November, a state appeals court upheld a probate court ruling that allowed the sale of the Clippers to proceed.
Also that month, a Superior Court judge rejected Sterling’s suit against celebrity website TMZ, which had posted a recording of the billionaire’s anti-black rant.
Donald Sterling filed for divorce last year, but the couple reconciled and the action was dismissed earlier this month.
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