Former NFL star and Hall of Fame receiver, Michael Irvin, sued Marriott International in state court in Texas for $100 million, alleging that he was falsely accused of sexual misconduct during the Super Bowl week.
However, Marriott has now successfully moved the case from state court to federal court, which may be more favorable to its interests.
Federal law allows defendants sued in state court to shift the case to federal court if they are not residents of the state where they are sued. This recognizes the possibility of home cooking for local residents suing out-of-state parties in state court.
Moreover, federal judges are appointed for life, whereas state-court judges are elected, making the latter susceptible to conflicts of interest.
Irvin can still file a motion to remand the case to state court, but as long as all defendants are not Texas residents, the case will likely stay in federal court. This development comes after Irvin scored initial wins in state court, with the presiding judge ordering Marriott to name the employee who accused Irvin of misconduct and to surrender any in-house video of the interaction leading to the accusation.
However, those rulings remain operative in the case unless overturned by the federal judge. Irvin was pulled from NFL Network’s Super Bowl coverage after the allegation was made, and ESPN also removed him from a scheduled appearance on First Take.
Marriott’s successful move of the case to federal court marks a strategic win for the company, as it could potentially have a more sympathetic judge and jury in this venue. Irvin’s $100 million lawsuit alleging false accusations will now proceed in a different court, leaving him with the option to push for a remand back to state court. Nevertheless, the case’s outcome remains uncertain, with both parties still having a chance to plead their case and prove their innocence.