Sport

John Higgins sues Kentucky media company for inciting harassment in March

John Higgins sues Kentucky media company for inciting harassment in March”

In his suit, John Higgins blamed Kentucky Sports Radio for helping incite death threats that frightened him and his family and defamatory messages on social media and in phone messages that disrupted his roofing business in suburban Omaha.

After North Carolina defeated Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament, there were a lot of gripes about the officiating that veered into the ugly territory of referee John Higgins receiving death threats and having Weatherguard, his roofing business, bombarded with phone calls and negative online reviews.

Higgins, his wife Carol and his business, Weatherguard Inc., are listed as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in Nebraska and first obtained by The Athletic, alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, tortious interference with a business and civil conspiracy.

Higgins and his wife are seeking $75,000 in damages, but an exact determination of the award is to be decided at trial. "We will defend it and expect a favorable result quickly".

John Higgins Sued Kentucky Media After A NCAA Basketball Game

Essentially, the lawsuit alleges that KSR is at fault for enabling some of this activity.

The lawsuit said Higgins and his family had a bodyguard with them when Higgins was in Phoenix for the Final Four.

The lawsuit alleges that Kentucky fans directed more than "800 threatening, vulgar, or harassing voicemail messages received on the Weatherguard phone lines, " and "30 such threatening, vulgar or harassing messages received on the Higgins' family home phone line" at Higgins, his family or his business.

Jones hosts a two-hour call-in show on Kentucky Sports Radio - which can be heard worldwide through various platforms - and maintains a blog on the station's website, on which Franklin is also a contributor. Higgins' website got more than 28,000 hits in the days after the game, and he was forced to take the company's Facebook page down. The calls persisted for up to two weeks. Wildcats fans criticized Higgins after the game for what they thought was bad officiating.

Jones, the lawsuit claims, argued that much of the reaction was "over the top, " yet read several of the commenters' posts over the air, laughing at some. "And anyone who says it was normal is wrong". Franklin posted an article titled "No More John Higgins please". It included a photo of Higgins next to a Weatherguard truck, the corporation's business phone number, its address and a home phone number. But citing security concerns, officials advised Higgins not to attend the meeting in person.



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