Mets, Wilpon deny wrongdoing in response

NEW YORK -- The Mets and chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon filed their response Friday in U.S. District Court, denying any wrongdoing in a lawsuit in which a senior vice president alleges she was "frequently humiliated" by superiors because she was pregnant and unmarried.

Leigh Castergine, who oversaw ticket sales for the Mets, was fired on Aug. 26, 2014, after nearly four years of employment.

"Wilpon at all times treated plaintiff fairly and without regard to her gender, marital status, pregnancy or leave," the response reads. "She was not discriminated against in the terms and conditions of her employment. The termination of her employment was based on legitimate business reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with her gender, marital status, pregnancy or leave. Business issues and conflicts in the workplace between plaintiff and her immediate supervisor, Lou DePaoli, and other company executives, began before DePaoli or anyone else knew she was pregnant. DePaoli ultimately terminated plaintiff, despite the long-standing support that plaintiff received from Wilpon."

Castergine alleges the harassment was initiated by Wilpon and that her complaints to human resources went unheeded.

The original complaint, filed in September, reads: "He frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger and openly stating in a meeting of the team's all-male senior executives that he is 'morally opposed' to Castergine 'having this baby without being married.'

"Wilpon told Castergine that, when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus," the complaint continued. "Castergine complained to the team's Human Resources Department. Wilpon responded by firing Castergine. According to Wilpon, 'something had changed' in Castergine after the birth of her child -- with still no ring on her finger. Wilpon told her she no longer was as 'aggressive' as she used to be."