After throwing 27 interceptions and finishing just 7-9, it’s safe to say that the 2013 NFL season is one that quarterback Eli Manning and the New York Giants would like to forget. However, the bad tidings will still continue even after the Giants’ elimination, thanks to a new lawsuit against the team and its quarterback in Bergen County (N.J.) Superior Court.
Sports memorabilia collector Eric Inselberg filed his suit on Jan. 29 alleging that Manning and team officials produced and sold “game-worn” helmets and jerseys that had never seen action. Among the items he says the Giants forged are a helmet Manning wore during the Giants’ 2008 Super Bowl victory and a helmet Manning wore during his 2004 rookie season.
In his lawsuit, Inselberg claims that he actually has the real 2008 Super Bowl helmet in his possession, while the one in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a fake. Inselberg claims that Manning instructed Giants employees to make equipment appear worn so he could pass the memorabilia off to investors as authentic.
Both the Giants and Manning say that Inselberg’s claims are completely false. “This suit is completely without any merit whatsoever and we will defend it vigorously,” Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon told the Wall Street Journal.
Manning said in a statement, “The Giants told me this suit is completely without merit and I have no reason to believe otherwise. The Giants are going to fight it and so will I.”
Based on the team’s prior history with the collector, Manning and the Giants have a reason for vigorously denying the allegations. Inselberg was indicted in 2011 and 2012 on charges of fraudulently selling “game-worn” memorabilia. Prosecutors later dropped the charges.
Inselberg claims the indictment was a direct result of the Giants’ tampering with equipment. “The New York Giants had every opportunity to make amends with Mr. Inselberg, but decided not to,” Inselberg’s lawyer, Brian Brook, said.
Inselberg seeks undisclosed damages from the NFL team and Manning. When asked about the damage done to Inselberg’s sports memorabilia business as a result of the indictment, Brook told the WSJ damages “were well into the eight figures.”
But this is far from the only odd lawsuit in the news. For more, check out 5 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines.