Orioles owner sues Warfield's Eli Jacobs asks $36 million, says he was libeled by magazine.

September 06, 1991|By Joan Jacobson and Mark Bomster | Joan Jacobson and Mark Bomster,Evening Sun Staff

Baltimore Orioles owner Eli S. Jacobs has sued Warfield's magazine for $36 million, claiming the magazine libeled him in an article last month which alleged he has financial difficulties and links him with convicted junk bond dealer Michael Milken.

The suit, filed in Baltimore Circuit Court Aug. 30 against Edwin Warfield IV, Warfield's publisher, and journalist Eric Garland, seeks damages for a cover article that appeared Aug. 7.

The article, says the suit, was "replete with false, inaccurate and misleading statements" concerning Jacobs' net worth and his business dealings and falsely alleges the Orioles owner is confronting personal bankruptcy. The suit claims that Warfield's published the article despite warnings from a representative of Jacobs that the information gathered by Garland might be inaccurate. Warfield's also refused to print a retraction after the article appeared, said the suit.

"Despite these additional warnings, Mr. Garland determined to go ahead with his completed story, without submitting it to Mr. Jacobs' representative for review, without checking a single fact with Mr. Jacobs' representative and without otherwise acting to assume the accuracy and reliability of the article," the suit says.

Edwin Warfield IV, publisher of the magazine, was unavailable for comment today. Robert A. Dawson, associate publisher, referred questions to the magazine's attorney, Theodore Sherbow of Weinberg and Green. Sherbow could not be reached for comment.

"The lawsuit, in our view, speaks for itself," said Roy Winnick, a spokesman for Jacobs in New York. "I really don't have anything to add to the lawsuit itself."

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