3rd DCA Approves Deposition For A-Rod's Cousin

, Daily Business Review

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Third District Court of Appeal
Third District Court of Appeal

A state appellate court ruled Wednesday that Major League Baseball can question the cousin of New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in its lawsuit against Coral Gables-based Biogensis of America Inc. as part of its investigation into performance-enhancing drugs.

Biogenesis was an anti-aging clinic that allegedly supplied drugs banned by the league, which has suspended 14 major and minor league players.

The Third District Court of Appeal in Miami denied a petition by Yuri Sucart to prevent MLB from deposing him under oath. The court has stayed discovery in the case in September, and the decision allows the case to move forward.

Wednesday's opinion also opens the door for the league to depose Jose Gomez, a friend of Rodriguez. Gomez, like Sucart, also lost his bid to avoid a deposition.

Rodriguez, a third baseman, is appealing his 211-game suspension, but other players caught in the scandal—including former University of Miami and current Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun—accepted their punishment last season.

Sucart's attorney, Jeffrey Sonn of Sonn & Erez in Miami, argued the tortious interference lawsuit filed in March does not belong in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Sucart, who is not a defendant in the league's lawsuit, was Rodriguez's assistant until 2009. Sonn insisted the league is misusing the court system to improperly gain an array of information through subpoenas and depositions.

The lawsuit's primary defendant, Biogenesis owner Tony Bosch, is cooperating with MLB in its investigation.

Sonn, who was not available for comment by deadline, argued on behalf of Sucart that federal labor law pre-empts the litigation and it violates the collective bargaining agreement between players and the league.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ronald Dresnick rejected those arguments.

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