Fan sues Patriots, says they ruined his Brady-signed flag

Oct 6, 2022, 1:11 AM | Updated: 2:10 pm

This image provided by Dan Vitale shows a U.S. flag signed by quarterback Tom Brady. Vitale, the owner of the flag, sued the New England Patriots on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, saying the team caused irreparable damage to the flag by improperly displaying it at the team's hall of fame at Gillette Stadium. The suit contends that after the flag had been on display for a couple of months, Brady’s signature written in blue Sharpie had significantly faded, which reduced the flag’s value by as much as $1 million. (Dan Vitale via AP)

(Dan Vitale via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — The New England Patriots caused irreparable damage to a U.S. flag signed by Tom Brady by improperly displaying it in the team’s hall of fame at Gillette Stadium, the flag’s owner contends in a federal lawsuit.

After it had been on display a couple of months, Brady’s signature written in blue Sharpie had significantly faded, which reduced the flag’s value by as much as $1 million, according to the suit filed against the team Wednesday in Boston.

A Patriots spokesperson said Thursday the team had no immediate comment.

The flag, described as “a priceless piece of sports memorabilia and historical artifact,” flew over the now-closed Foxboro Stadium on Dec. 22, 2001.

Daniel Vitale, 42, of Hampstead, New Hampshire, bought the flag in 2020 as an investment.

“I am a die-hard Patriots fan and have been for 40 years,” Vitale told The Associated Press by phone Thursday. “That flag was so significant to me because it was right after 9/11 and it was the last regular season game at Foxboro Stadium.”

Vitale loaned the flag to the Patriots Hall of Fame in June 2021 after being assured that it would be cared for properly. He wanted it back a couple of months later because he thought it might skyrocket in value, as Brady, who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was contemplating retirement at the time, according to the suit.

Vitale’s youngest daughter has autism and the family wanted to hire a full-time nanny to care for her, he said.

But when Vitale got the flag back, Brady’s signature had faded.

Neither the lighting at the Hall of Fame nor the display case’s glass were designed to protect autographed sports memorabilia, and there was “a significant gap in the glass directly in front of the flag through which unfiltered light and heat could pass,” according to the lawsuit, which estimates the loss in value as ranging from several hundred-thousand dollars to up to $1 million.

The suit alleges breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and fraudulent misrepresentation, and seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

The lawsuit was a last resort. “I’ve tried to do everything I can to settle with these guys, but they don’t even want to talk to us,” Vitale said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found ...
Rebecca Boone, Associated Press

Victims’ families urge love, kindness as Idaho campus mourns

As hundreds of students mourned together inside the University of Idaho’s stadium Wednesday night, family members of four slain classmates urged them to raise their eyes from grief and focus on love and the future.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Mexico tells US it wants to keep talking on trade disputes

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s economy secretary on Thursday proposed yet another round of talks with the United States on a dispute over Mexico’s energy sector. Mexico hopes to stave off a full-fledged trade complaint under the U.s.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. The U.S. initially requested talks in July, but they have so far not led to […]
19 hours ago
An Indian army sniper takes position during Jungle lane terrain drill at the Indo-US joint exercise...
Associated Press

AP Week in Pictures: Asia

Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2022 This photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published by Associated Press photographers in Asia and the Pacific. The gallery was curated by AP photo editor Masayo Yoshida in Tokyo. Follow AP visual journalism: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apnews AP Images on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AP_Images AP Images blog: http://apimagesblog.com Copyright © […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Tesla delivers electric semis to PepsiCo at Nevada factory

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla delivered its first electric semis to PepsiCo Thursday, more than three years after Elon Musk said his company would start making the trucks. The Austin, Texas, company formally delivered the trucks at a factory near Reno, Nevada. The event was livestreamed on Twitter, which Musk now owns. Musk drove one of […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Policemen pin down and detain a protester during a protest on a street in Shanghai, China on...
Associated Press

China security apparatus well honed to deal with protests

BEIJING (AP) — When it comes to ensuring the security of their regime, China’s Communist Party rulers don’t skimp. The extent of that lavish spending was put on display when the boldest street protests in decades broke out in Beijing and other cities, driven by anger over rigid and seemingly unending restrictions to combat COVID-19. […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

EPA proposes restrictions to block proposed Alaska mine

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed restrictions that would block plans for a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region that is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. A statement from the regional EPA office said discharges of dredged or fill material into the waters […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Fan sues Patriots, says they ruined his Brady-signed flag