Settlement reached in Eli Manning memorabilia fraud lawsuit

Ruben Hill
May 15, 2018

The trial was set to start last September in state Superior Court in Bergen County, New Jersey after court documents containing emails indicated Manning's involvement in the scheme.

Eli Manning's lawsuit with a memorabilia dealer who accused the Giants quarterback of conspiring with the team's equipment staff to sell fake "game-used" helmets has been settled, according to ESPN.

The plaintiffs said they were duped by Manning into paying for "game-used" items that weren't actually used in games.

A spokesman for the defendants, a group that included Manning, the Giants, two equipment managers and Steiner Sports, the company with whom Manning is under contract to provide game-worn jerseys and helmets for sale, said Monday night a settlement had been reached to resolve the claims. The trial is expected to last about four weeks. If a settlement was not arranged, Manning could have been forced to serve as a witness on the stand. Manning's attorneys also have described Inselberg's lawsuit as "inflammatory and baseless", and they have accused Inselberg's attorneys of using underhanded tactics to whip up a media frenzy against their client. It says that two helmets purchased by Inselberg and two other plaintiffs - including one purportedly used by Manning during the Giants' 2007-2008 Super Bowl season - were bogus.

The Giants and Manning contend photomatching is unreliable because it does not take into account that helmets are routinely reconditioned during or after a season, the evidence of which might be found on the inside of the helmet and not the outside.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP insisted in a deposition that he has no idea why anyone would think he was pulling some kind of scam when he asked a team equipment manager for helmets "that can pass as game used".

Inselberg says he bought a 2004 Manning helmet and two Michael Jordan rookie cards for $5,000 in 2015.

"I will say I have never done what I have been accused of doing", Manning said a year ago, per Scooby Axson of Sports Illustrated. "I believe I'm asking for two helmets that can satisfy as being game-used - satisfy the requirement of being game-used".

"If a game-used helmet - a game-used helmet of mine - was claimed to be game-used and [was] not, there would be something wrong with that".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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