Diver Down


Diver Down:
1.     A red and white flag that alerts vessels of a nearby submerged scuba diver.
2.    1982 album by America’s greatest rock band, Van Halen.

The only thing that would have made the Van Halen album better is if Sammy Hagar had sung on it.  Greatest rock singer ever; don’t EVEN argue with me. And no, I am not a narc.

But Sammy has his own Diver Down problems right now. Seems he had a tryst in the 80’s with a Playboy Bunny who allegedly became pregnant. Hagar entered a contract to pay the mother’s expenses in exchange for her silence (he was married at the time). The child allegedly died shortly after birth.

Move forward 30 years and 50 million albums sold. Sammy publishes his autobiography, Red, and writes that his 80’s baby-mama was a liar, was never pregnant, and extorted him. Ouch.

Those statements do not sit well with mother and she files suit in Iowa for numerous claims including defamation and breach of contract. The trial court granted Sammy summary judgment on all of them–clearly agreeing with me that Sammy is the greatest rock singer of all time. No reasonable juror could think otherwise.

Just when Sammy crossed the Iowa-Nebraska border going slightly faster than 55, the Iowa Court of Appeals slammed on the brakes. Sammy’s summary judgment is (for the most part) reversed, and it looks like the entire ugly drama will be a question of fact for an Iowa jury. Despite my Sammy man-crush, I think the Court got it right.

The appellate opinion is short, readable, and has a nice discussion of Iowa defamation law. Jane Doe v. Hagar.


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