Pegram wins ruling in defamation suit vs Jamgotchian

  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X


  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X

A district judge in Douglas County, Nevada, has ruled against a motion by horse owner Jerry Jamgotchian to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Mike Pegram, a fellow horse owner, Nevada casino operator and chairman of the board of directors of Thoroughbred Owners of California.

Pegram filed the complaint in December 2011, alleging Jamgotchian had “perpetrated a harmful and malicious smear campaign” against him through widely distributed emails suggesting that Pegram, in his capacity with TOC, “engaged in serious criminal conduct, including theft of the organization’s funds.”

Among the numerous Jamgotchian emails cited in the suit is one allegedly sent Dec. 1, 2011, reading: “PEGRAM AND THE CURRENT TOC BOARD MEMBERS” are “BUSY ‘STEALING’ MONEY FROM THE TOC’S NON-PARIMUTUEL ACCOUNT!!!”


The suit was filed in Nevada’s Douglas County, where Pegram resides. Pegram claims the Jamgotchian emails were distributed to Nevada residents, including “Nevada reporters, publications with Nevada subscribers, and a Nevada newspaper.”

Because Pegram is licensed to operate casinos in Nevada and is monitored by Nevada Gaming Control authorities, the suit claims that the “serious criminal accusations contained in the misrepresentations have harmed, and could continue to harm, Mr. Pegram’s reputation and business interests.”

Jamgotchian sought to have the case dismissed, claiming the Nevada court lacks personal jurisdiction over him because he is a resident of California and that Pegram failed to show “sufficient facts” for the court to exercise “long-arm jurisdiction.”

Jamgotchian also argued that there was no evidence to show that he intentionally targeted Pegram and denied sending the emails to other Nevada residents with the intention of harming Pegram or adversely affecting his business interests. Jamgotchian also claimed, District Judge Michael P. Gibbons wrote, that Jamgotchian had no knowledge that Pegram “lived or worked” in Nevada.

Pegram countered that Jamgotchian indicated his knowledge of Pegram’s Nevada casino interests when Jamgotchian posted comments on Paulick Report articles about Pegram and continued to send what he said were “defamatory emails” to him and others in Nevada, even after the complaint was filed.

“Pegram argues the sheer number of emails and recipients over the period of September 2010 through August 2012 constitutes systematic, continuous contact with Nevada and that these facts support a finding of general jurisdiction allowing this court to proceed.”

The judge ruled in Pegram’s favor, denying Jamgotchian’s motion to dismiss. However, he also ordered that Pegram must still establish personal jurisdiction “by a preponderance of the evidence at hearing or trial.” He also ruled the motion may be re-filed if there is significant new evidence after discovery.

New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry
  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    If I could just get 10% of the bread Jerry spends on lawyers I would be able to get back in “THE GAME”!!!…ty…

    • Convene

       Yes! He’s a highly litigious individual, isn’t he!

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    If I could just get 10% of the bread Jerry spends on lawyers I would be able to get back in “THE GAME”!!!…ty…

  • roger

    I wish Mike could spend more time on what’s BEST for CA Racing as a whole not just owners…..the unfair split on the P-5 bet between track ownership vs horsemen and the
    continual decline of mutuel handle of CA Racing since the inception of SB 1072 on 1/1/11.

    • NotRoger

      Time for wishes is over.  Wait until next Christmas.

  • roger

    I wish Mike could spend more time on what’s BEST for CA Racing as a whole not just owners…..the unfair split on the P-5 bet between track ownership vs horsemen and the
    continual decline of mutuel handle of CA Racing since the inception of SB 1072 on 1/1/11.

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Rack up another legal loss for Jerry. His record is almost perfect in that regard.

    • Don Reed

      I think that law schools conduct classes in how to avoid
      representing people who in court have the N.Y. Yankees post-season batting averages.

      • Clem Clemson

        Nope.  Law Schools don’t have classes on that sort of thing.  They actually hammer it into you that in America, each person is entitled to his day in court.  Which is a total crock when you have a vexatious litigant like JJ who wastes the court’s valuable time and resources so other meritorious cases don’t get the attention that they deserve. Law School doesn’t teach good judgment.  It doens’t even teach you how to find the courthouse.  You are on your own for that.

        • Don Reed

          Clem, I was being facetious. 
          I agree with you about all the rest.

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Rack up another legal loss for Jerry. His record is almost perfect in that regard.

  • NotRoger

    Time for wishes is over.  Wait until next Christmas.

  • Watcher2

    Somehow I dont think Jerry has learned a lesson.  Watch for him to waste more people’s money on lawyers.

  • Watcher2

    Somehow I dont think Jerry has learned a lesson.  Watch for him to waste more people’s money on lawyers.

  • WILLIAM L. ANTON

    I do no like or dislike Mr. Pegram, however, he and the TOC might spend the TOC money improperly-(but I don’t know that) but steal. NO WAY Mike has more class and dignity to go that low.  I believe he is a gentleman, a sharpe business man, NOT a thief.  Unfortunately Mike you have to put up with Jerry, he is quite and act isn’t he??

  • WILLIAM L. ANTON

    I do no like or dislike Mr. Pegram, however, he and the TOC might spend the TOC money improperly-(but I don’t know that) but steal. NO WAY Mike has more class and dignity to go that low.  I believe he is a gentleman, a sharpe business man, NOT a thief.  Unfortunately Mike you have to put up with Jerry, he is quite and act isn’t he??

  • Convene

     Yes! He’s a highly litigious individual, isn’t he!

  • David

    Mike Pegram has done nothing to lower the excessive takeout in California.

    • WILLIAM L. ANTON

      David that is not what this is about.  If you are not happy about the take out send Mike a letter through the TOC. I agree the take out is too high. But this is a horse of another color.

    • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

      Mike’s buddy Louie Raffetto was big on lower takeout when he was running the show in Maryland…haven’t heard much from Louie since he moved out west???…did they stick him in a closet???…ty…

  • David

    Mike Pegram has done nothing to lower the excessive takeout in California.

  • Don Reed

    Finally, somewhere, a photograph of Jerry
    Jamgotchian was published.

    • Starofthecrop

      I’d like to see Mr. Pegram knock that stupid look off his face.

  • Don Reed

    Finally, somewhere, a photograph of Jerry
    Jamgotchian was published.

  • Don Reed

    I think that law schools conduct classes in how to avoid
    representing people who in court have the N.Y. Yankees post-season batting averages.

  • Clem Clemson

    Nope.  Law Schools don’t have classes on that sort of thing.  They actually hammer it into you that in America, each person is entitled to his day in court.  Which is a total crock when you have a vexatious litigant like JJ who wastes the court’s valuable time and resources so other meritorious cases don’t get the attention that they deserve. Law School doesn’t teach good judgment.  It doens’t even teach you how to find the courthouse.  You are on your own for that.

  • WILLIAM L. ANTON

    David that is not what this is about.  If you are not happy about the take out send Mike a letter through the TOC. I agree the take out is too high. But this is a horse of another color.

  • Don Reed

    Clem, I was being facetious. 
    I agree with you about all the rest.

  • Starofthecrop

    I’d like to see Mr. Pegram knock that stupid look off his face.

  • Watcher2

    The untold story here is that many other individuals have also been defamed by Jamgotchian but lack the personal finances to sue him. 

    Remember Ingrid Fermin and Richard Shapiro of the CHRB? Jamgotchian relentlessly slandered these people in his quest to teach them a lesson (about their decision to force him to run his filly at Del Mar in 2005 even though he wanted to scratch her after the designated time deadline). 

    I think if you look at Jerry’s record over the years you will find that his craving for attention has driven him to libel IN CAPITAL LETTERS anyone who crosses him.  

    And, unfortunately, he has the financial wherewithall to sustain his passion. 

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    Mike’s buddy Louie Raffetto was big on lower takeout when he was running the show in Maryland…haven’t heard much from Louie since he moved out west???…did they stick him in a closet???…ty…

  • Kris

    Jerry,
    If you are a fan of the movie, “Jaws,” then you, sir, are going to need a ‘bigger boat.’

  • Kris

    Jerry,
    If you are a fan of the movie, “Jaws,” then you, sir, are going to need a ‘bigger boat.’

  • Rpres43

    GP 20% t/o vs. SA 23.68% on P/3, P/4, DD,etc.enough for me not to give TOC any more of my business. Wise up MP and company, or continue to see your handle decline along with declining purses and  field size to follow. 

  • Rpres43

    GP 20% t/o vs. SA 23.68% on P/3, P/4, DD,etc.enough for me not to give TOC any more of my business. Wise up MP and company, or continue to see your handle decline along with declining purses and  field size to follow. 

  • Vinniega11

    Jamgotchian is very bad for the horse racing industry. It seems I’m always reading about him causing trouble with someone in the racing industry. Ray, could you print an article demonstrating what I mean? Is there anyway the racing industry can have him kicked out of the sport for the all these incidents he has been involved in over the last several years. He seems to be involved in litigation constantly whether Jamgotchian is the plaintiff or the defendant. Personally, I’m from Massachusetts and I know exactly what Mr. Pegram means by Jamgotchian’s efforts. Feel free to use my comment in your lawsuit Mr. Pegram.

  • Vinniega11

    Jamgotchian is very bad for the horse racing industry. It seems I’m always reading about him causing trouble with someone in the racing industry. Ray, could you print an article demonstrating what I mean? Is there anyway the racing industry can have him kicked out of the sport for the all these incidents he has been involved in over the last several years. He seems to be involved in litigation constantly whether Jamgotchian is the plaintiff or the defendant. Personally, I’m from Massachusetts and I know exactly what Mr. Pegram means by Jamgotchian’s efforts. Feel free to use my comment in your lawsuit Mr. Pegram.

  • James D. Jimenez

    Sure seems odd that this story that relates to Mr. Jamgotchian (a favorite whipping boy around here) has sure been left here for a long time even though it seems to draw very little interest. Tweebster ‘s article on the other hand seemed to disappear rather quickly even though it drew plenty of interest as evident by the 137 posts. Had Tweebster been trained by one of the favorite whipping boys would that article still be prominently posted? 

    Curious to see if there will be any further follow up to the Tweebster story as there seems to be at least as much controversy to this story as there has been to other trainers past problems.

    Only seems fair that everyone should be treated the same.

    • WILLIAM L. ANTON

      James, we don’t always agree on things.  However, I truly feel we both wish to strive forward to enhance the racing industry.  I agree, this blog has been up too long.  Yes, it does not look like fair play but favoritism on the part of the publisher. Like you I call them like I see them.  I have your back on this one.

      • James D. Jimenez

        I’m pretty sure if we sat down and talked about this game we’d agree on far more things than we’d disagree on!

        I couldn’t pick Mr. Jamgotchian out in a crowd but I know he’s very opinionated and backs his opinions with his cash. He’s made some stands that I agree on and others that I disagree on. Just seems this really isn’t very newsworthy and more of a personal issue with Jamgotchian and Pegram that should be decided by the courts not the court of public opinion.

        That’s not a very favorable picture of the man either!

  • James D. Jimenez

    Sure seems odd that this story that relates to Mr. Jamgotchian (a favorite whipping boy around here) has sure been left here for a long time even though it seems to draw very little interest. Tweebster ‘s article on the other hand seemed to disappear rather quickly even though it drew plenty of interest as evident by the 137 posts. Had Tweebster been trained by one of the favorite whipping boys would that article still be prominently posted? 

    Curious to see if there will be any further follow up to the Tweebster story as there seems to be at least as much controversy to this story as there has been to other trainers past problems.

    Only seems fair that everyone should be treated the same.

  • Clem Clemson

    Hey Ray, I am confused by your article.  The Motion to Dismiss would certainly have included an argument that Nevada had no personal JX over JJ. I can see the Court denying the motion, but rarely does a court then extemporaneously order a party to prove personal jurisdiction.  JJ will have to make another motion to have that matter heard.  Maybe the court told Pegram’s lawyer that he was vulnerable on that issue unless he had better facts.   Can you post the order of the Court so we can read it? Nevada has a long arm statute and I have no doubt that based on the facts pleaded that Pegram will be able to keep JJ in Nevada to fight it out. 

  • Clem Clemson

    Hey Ray, I am confused by your article.  The Motion to Dismiss would certainly have included an argument that Nevada had no personal JX over JJ. I can see the Court denying the motion, but rarely does a court then extemporaneously order a party to prove personal jurisdiction.  JJ will have to make another motion to have that matter heard.  Maybe the court told Pegram’s lawyer that he was vulnerable on that issue unless he had better facts.   Can you post the order of the Court so we can read it? Nevada has a long arm statute and I have no doubt that based on the facts pleaded that Pegram will be able to keep JJ in Nevada to fight it out. 

  • WILLIAM L. ANTON

    James, we don’t always agree on things.  However, I truly feel we both wish to strive forward to enhance the racing industry.  I agree, this blog has been up too long.  Yes, it does not look like fair play but favoritism on the part of the publisher. Like you I call them like I see them.  I have your back on this one.

  • James D. Jimenez

    I’m pretty sure if we sat down and talked about this game we’d agree on far more things than we’d disagree on!

    I couldn’t pick Mr. Jamgotchian out in a crowd but I know he’s very opinionated and backs his opinions with his cash. He’s made some stands that I agree on and others that I disagree on. Just seems this really isn’t very newsworthy and more of a personal issue with Jamgotchian and Pegram that should be decided by the courts not the court of public opinion.

    That’s not a very favorable picture of the man either!

Twitter