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Giants and Eli Manning memorabilia fraud case delayed

Giants quarterback Eli Manning waves to the fans

Giants quarterback Eli Manning waves to the fans as he runs off the field after defeating the Redskins at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

HACKENSACK, N.J. — The New Jersey judge overseeing the four-year-old civil lawsuit that accuses the Giants and Eli Manning of memorabilia fraud decided Friday to delay the trial nearly two months. The trial, which was set to begin March 26, is now scheduled for May 14.

Superior court judge James Deluca said at the end of a two-hour hearing at Bergen County Court on Friday that he needs the additional time to rule on each defendant’s summary judgment motion to dismiss the case before trial.

The suit, filed in January 2014, accuses a Giants equipment manager of passing off Manning’s helmets and jerseys to be sold as game-used, sometimes at the request of the Giants quarterback. Other defendants include Steiner Sports, a collectibles company contracted with Manning, and Giants co-owner John Mara.

The Giants had requested that the trial be delayed until June because the attorney they said they wanted to use is involved a criminal trial until then and had been dealing with a significant illness. The judge declined that request because he said the Giants knew about the conflicts for months but didn’t raise it with the court until last month.

Karen Kessler, a spokeswoman for the Giants attorneys, said in a statement afterward: “We are here today seeking to end this sham.”

Brian Brook, an attorney for the memorabilia collectors, said, “we look forward to a public trial, where it will be clear that the only shams were the helmets they distributed and the statements they made to the press.”

New York Sports