Mets settle lawsuit with Leigh Castergine
It was announced on Friday that the Mets have settled the sexual discrimination lawsuit that was filed last September by former SVP Leigh Castergine against COO Jeff Wilpon and the team.
Castergine, who worked for the team for over four years, receiving promotions along the way, alleged that she was fired for having a baby out of wedlock.
In a joint statement announcing the settlement, the two parties said:
"The parties have decided to resolve this matter, which has brought more attention to the workplace environment for women in sports and will result in the organization being more assertive to the important issues raised by women in sports. Additionally, we are both committed to the further development and encouragement of female executives in our industry. Both sides have agreed to have no further comments."
Castergine had been suing Jeff Wilpon personally, and was also seeking additional damages from the team.
The suit alleged that Mets COO Jeff Wilpon was opposed to Castergine being pregnant and single, quoting Wilpon as saying that when Castergine gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus.
According to the suit, Wilpon “frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger and openly stating in a meeting of the Team’s all-male senior executives that he is ‘morally opposed’ to Castergine ‘having this baby without being married.”
After Castergine gave birth, Wilpon said that “something had changed” in her, “with still no ring on her finger” and noted that she wasn’t as “aggressive” as she used to be.
Castergine, a graduate of Penn, worked for the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, and Boston Bruins prior to joining the Mets.
In the months after the lawsuit was filed, lawyers for the Mets and Castergine met several times with Judge William F. Kuntz, and it seemed as if the case might actually make it to court.
On October 31, lawyers for Wilpon and the Mets denied any wrongdoing.
If the case proceeded, a trial likely would’ve taken place in 2016. Instead, the settlement was reached.
That the case is settled should be a relief for the Mets, who certainly did not want this seeing the inside of a courtroom.
Castergine’s allegations against Jeff Wilpon were both specific and damning, and the fact that the two sides settled leads one to believe that they at least had some merit.
More important here than the amount of money the Mets will have to pay Castergine is the fact that the team’s COO, Jeff Wilpon, was accused of these things in the first place.
Perhaps Wilpon isn’t the archaic sexist the lawsuit made him out to be. However, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.
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