OMAHA, Neb. – John Higgins, a basketball referee of NCAA, filed a lawsuit against Kentucky Media Network Company on Tuesday for stirring conditions which lead to the harassment of him and his family. The incident happened after working as a referee at a NCAA basketball game between North Carolina and Kentucky in March.
Higgins accused Kentucky Sports Radio of encouraging death threats which alarmed him and his family. He claimed that the slanderous phone and social media messages upset his business in a suburban area in Omaha. The harassment started after Higgins worked Tar Heel’s victory against Kentucky in the final regional game.
The lawsuit involves intentional castigation of emotional distress, privacy invasion and business interference civil sedition. Higgins declined to give a statement but is seeking an amount of at least $75,000.
Higgin, his wife Carol and Weatherguard Inc., his roofing business, were listed as accusers while Kentucky Sports Radio and its employees Drew Franklin and Matthew Jones were listed as the defendants.
The alleged harassment began when KSR posted a video on their website showing Higgins’ contact information.
“The lawsuit of the Higgins against KSR is trivial and without any legal stature whatsoever. We will fight for it and expect a positive result quickly,” said Jones of KSR.
“After defendants’ disclosure of Mr. Higgins’ contact information, together with their encouragement to thousands of people to use the information, Weatherguard received more than 3,000 calls within two days after the game, of which nearly 75 percent of callers have Kentucky area codes,” the lawsuit stated.
Higgin’s business was also bombarded with fake negative reviews and caused his business’ Google rank to submerge. He was then forced to take his business’ Facebook page down.
The lawsuit also said that the Higgins had a personal bodyguard for their safety when John Higgins went to the Final Four in Phoenix to work as a referee.