Jackson Reaches Settlement with Diaz-Valdes, Martin

Two defendants named in Jess Jackson’s California lawsuit involving alleged horse sale fraud have reached separate settlement agreements with the horse owner, attorneys on both sides of the legal action have confirmed.

Agents Fernando Diaz-Valdes and Brad Martin, who were among the eight defendants named in the lawsuit originally filed in San Diego Superior Court in September 2005, join trainer Bruce Headley in having reached settlement agreements.

Diaz-Valdes was accused in court documents of conspiring with others to defraud Jackson on certain private horse transactions. Diaz-Valdes has in pleadings denied any wrongdoing, and had filed defamation and libel cross-claims against Jackson.

A joint statement delivered to The Blood-Horse by Diaz-Valdes’ attorney, James R. Morgan, said all issues have been resolved between his client and Jackson:

“Kevin P. McGee and Richard A. Getty, attorneys for Jess Jackson, and James R. Morgan, attorney for Fernando Diaz-Valdes, announced (May 9) they have amicably resolved all issues between them. No money shall change hands as a result of this agreement, and Jess Jackson shall drop all claims against Fernando Diaz-Valdes, including claims for fraud, conspiracy and punitive damages.

“Conversely, Fernando Diaz-Valdes has agreed to drop all claims against Jess Jackson. Both Jess Jackson and Fernando Diaz-Valdes wish each other well in their future endeavors in the Thoroughbred horse industry. All claims and cross-claims shall be dismissed with prejudice.”

Martin, who was accused of conspiring with others to defraud Jackson on public auction transactions, accepted a California entry of judgment totaling $250,000, McGee and Getty said. Martin is still an active defendant in a related Kentucky federal lawsuit involving Jackson’s purchase of the former Buckram Oak Farm. Neither Martin nor his attorney could immediately be reached for comment.

Headley previously agreed to pay Jackson $900,000 in a settlement announced March 9.

McGee said the settlements will allow Jackson’s legal team to concentrate efforts on the remaining defendants in the California dispute, which include Emmanuel de Seroux, Narvick International, and Continental Bloodstock.

Frederic Sauque earned a tentative dismissal from the California lawsuit in January, but the court is still reconsidering the ruling as requested by Jackson’s attorneys, Getty said.

In court pleadings, all remaining defendants have denied any wrongdoing and have filed counter-claims against Jackson.

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