Vijay Singh’s Emotional Distress Claim Against the PGA

They say that golf is the ultimate sport of honor.  That may still be true on the course, but as we have seen over the past few years, it doesn’t hold up with golfers off the course (see, e.g., Tiger Woods).  This time, according to Golf Magazine, Vijahy Sing is getting into the mix by taking questionable performance enhancing substances and bringing a frivolous intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against the PGA tour.

Vijahy was privately suspended by the PGA a few months back after he admitted using a performance enhancing drug known as “deer antler spray.”  Deer antler spray allegedly contains substances banned by the PGA tour.  However, after some legal maneuvering, Vijahy was able to avoid serving any suspension. Now Vijahy claims that there never was any reason to suspend him in the first place. So, naturally, he has filed a lawsuit  alleging that the PGA tour negligently and intentional inflicted emotional distress upon him.

Emotional distress claims are notoriously difficult to prove.  Negligent infliction of emotional distress requires, at minimum, that a Plaintiff prove that he was in a zone of impact and suffered physical manifestation.  Intentional infliction of emotional distress claims require proving that the defendant intentional or reckless acted in a manner so heinous and beyond the standards of civilized decency or utterly intolerable in a civilized society.  Very very doubtful that Vijahy can prove either.

When you are pro golf and you admit to using suspect performance enhancing drugs, you run the risk of ticking off your employer and getting suspended.   Unless Vijahy’s got some really good hidden evidence in his golf bag, it is unlikely that this case is going anywhere.


  1. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that his lawyer isn’t bringing that claim on a contingent fee.