Eli Manning finds himself in the middle of a civil lawsuit claiming he was party to an elaborate scheme to pass off items that were supposed be used in games, but weren’t.
The lawsuit, filed in Bergen County (NJ) Superior Court, had been brought by three collectors — Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown. The suit was filed three years ago and has been slowly making its way through the justice system.
Now, lawyers for the plaintiffs say a piece of information uncovered last week during legal discovery directly points to Manning’s involvement.
In the filing, the New York Post reported that Manning turned over more than 200 pages of documents that included an email that said:
“2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli,”
The Post, quoting court documents, reported that Manning wrote the email to equipment manager Joe Skiba from a BlackBerry on April 27, 2010.
Skiba is also party to the suit, as ia Manning’s team, the New York Giants, Steiner Sports (which has a contract with Manning) and others.
The legal filings claim the Giants are complicit because they didn’t turn over the Manning-Skiba emails – though the Giants say they didn’t have to.
But the Giants, in a statement obtained by the Post, fired back:
The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants server.
The suit was initially filed by Inselberg, who was charged in 2011 with selling fake game-used jerseys. His case was dismissed when he argued Giants employees, including Skiba, lied to a grand jury to cover up their own fake memorabilia sales, the Post reported.
The lawsuit is set for trial on Sept. 25.