In a not-unexpected ruling handed down Tuesday afternoon in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled in favor of the PGA Tour in its effort to enjoin Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and its governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, as defendants in the tour’s counterclaim against LIV Golf.
Previously, PIF and Al-Rumayyan were third parties to the legal proceedings that began in August 2022. This ruling requires PIF and Al-Rumayyan to comply with American judicial procedural requirements. That means complying with discovery, which entails sitting for depositions and producing documents.
Global Golf Post reported on this aspect of the legal issues on Monday, Feb. 20.
The precedent that this presents to the kingdom could cause executives at the Public Investment Fund to reconsider the legal strategy because of the Saudis’ significant American investments. It also portends a legal precedent that could have far-reaching diplomatic implications, not just for U.S.-Saudi relations but for all businesses with inexorable links to a foreign government.
A case-management hearing is scheduled for Friday, February 24 in the same California courtroom. These hearings are largely routine. Given all of the outstanding issues, though, this hearing will be anything but routine. A trial date has been set for January 8, 2024.
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