Ryder Cup Lake Landing Leads To Lawsuit

By: Rob Harris

During the 2016 Ryder Cup, played at Hazeltine, two men in a floatplane decided to land on Lake Chaska near the 10th green in the midst of Sunday’s singles competition. They were criminally charged with questionable misdemeanor offenses, which subsequently were dismissed.

The two men professed ignorance of a specially passed city ordinance that barred lake-related activity during the Cup.

The local police chief expressed disbelief that the two men were unaware of the prohibition, and he also offered his opinion that the pilot’s actions were “imbecilic” and “stupid.”

The police chief and the City of Chaska now find themselves as defendants in a federal lawsuit brought by the two men seeking money damages for defamation and violation of civil and constitutional rights.

The lawsuit alleges that surrounding publicity required the men to “answer many embarrassing questions” and led to “many sleepless nights worrying about how the publicity around the incident would harm their reputations from both a business and personal standpoint.”

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