Times, Tribune sued by former sports writer T.J. Simers
Former Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers has sued The Times, parent company Tribune Co. and the paper’s top two editors, alleging that he was discriminated against because of his age and a disability.
Simers’ lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, also named former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, saying he disrupted Simers’ contract with The Times by putting pressure on the news organization to stop “negative press” from being written about him. That pressure inhibited Simers’ ability to function as a journalist, the lawsuit said.
Simers, 63, said in the complaint that he was diagnosed with complex migraine syndrome in March. He alleged in the lawsuit that he was harassed because of the condition and his age. He further alleged that a video he made with his daughter and former Los Angeles Lakers star Dwight Howard had become an issue with top editors.
Simers said that he was offered a one-year contract as a columnist on Aug. 23 but that his work environment had become “unbearable.” Simers is now a columnist at the Orange County Register.
“We wished T.J. Simers well when he left the L.A. Times to write for the O.C. Register and continue to do so,” Nancy Sullivan, The Times’ vice president of communications, said in a statement. “But, the claims in his lawsuit are without merit. As this is now an ongoing litigation, we will defer further comment.”
UPDATED at 2:45pm: McCourt, through a spokesperson, declined to comment.
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