New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner will respond to legal action taken by Dave Winfield by filing a lawsuit and counterclaim against his star outfielder's philanthropic foundation, Steinbrenner's lawyer announced Saturday.
Steinbrenner's suits against the David M. Winfield Foundation will be filed Monday in U.S. District Court, attorney Kenneth E. Warner said. They follow the suit Winfield filed Friday against Steinbrenner and the Yankees.Attorneys for the Yankees said the suit against the Winfield Foundation would detail complaints of excessive limousine, travel and management costs at the organization. Among the aims of the Winfield Foundation is to help underprivileged children in the New York area.
The suits are the latest in a long-running feud between the owner and the All-Star right fielder. The owner this spring tried to trade Winfield, one of baseball's highest paid players, following the publication of the outfielder's autobiography, which is highly critical of Steinbrenner.
Winfield's suit accused Steinbrenner of failing to make $450,000 in payments to the foundation. Steinbrenner settled similar suits in 1982 and 1983 by paying the full amount owed, said Jeffrey Klein, a lawyer for the foundation. Under Winfield's 10-year contract, the Yankees owner must pay $300,000 each year to the foundation.
Steinbrenner's attorney claimed that the money owed the foundation has been placed in an interest-earning account pending an investigation of the foundation. Steinbrenner has expressed concern over the management of the foundation in the past and charged that Winfield had not been making his $100,000 annual payments as specified in the contract.