The nation's largest rotisserie baseball statistics keeper has filed a "computer programming malpractice" lawsuit, claiming faulty software caused it to suspend its operations early in the 1992 Major League Baseball season.
USA Stats Inc. of Baltimore filed the $500,000 suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore against Bradley T. Marshall, who operated the Bradley T. Marshall Co. in Washington.
But even if USA Stats wins, it may have a tough time collecting. Mr. Marshall said yesterday that his software program was not responsible for the shutdown in April. Besides, he said, his company has no money.
"Now that they've filed, I'll file personal bankruptcy tomorrow, and that'll be the end of it," said Mr. Marshall, adding that his company is no longer in business. He said he is working as a systems analyst for a corporation that he refused to name.
The suit charges that the Marshall Co. failed to meet deadlines
for producing a software program to track statistics for the 1992 Major League Baseball season and that it failed to test the program when it was finished. It says the software had serious flaws and omissions, and that key components were never installed in USA Stats' computer system.
Those problems, the suit says, caused USA Stats' computer to be shut down and created errors in baseball statistics that rotisserie baseball participants need to find out how well their make-believe teams are performing.
"Managers" of rotisserie teams select groups of players from the American and National leagues, and match their players' batting and pitching performances against one another's.
The suit also says the Marshall program was incompatible with fax transmission codes that USA Stats used to send information to its customers.
USA Stats suspended its operations on April 21, refunding money to the 450 rotisserie baseball leagues that subscribed to its service, court papers say. The business had expected to earn $250,000 in sales this year.
William K. Meyer, a USA Stats partner, said that although the company has filed the lawsuit, it would continue to negotiate with Mr. Marshall over a cash settlement.