New England Patriots Enter the Fray in Brady and the NFLPA’s Petition to Rehear Deflategate Case

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On May 25, 2016, the New England Patriots officially joined Tom Brady’s battle to have the Second Circuit’s decision to reinstate Brady’s four-game suspension reheard. In a rare and surprising move by a team to go against the league in a player dispute, the Patriots filed a motion for leave to file a brief in support of Brady and the NFLPA. This motion stems from a recent Second Circuit decision to overturn the NFL superstar’s voided suspension and the NFLPA’s petition to have a rehearing en banc with the Second Circuit. In Wednesday’s motion the Patriots assert that they have a significant interest in this case, therefore their brief should be heard. They argue that Brady’s suspension affects 25 percent of their season, the suspension is a severely adverse loss ...
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Class Action Suit From College Athletes Against Fantasy Sports Continues in Federal Court

Fantasy Letterpress On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, former NCAA athletes moved their lawsuit against major fantasy sports sites FanDuel and Draftkings to Indiana federal court. The lawsuit was initiated earlier this month when a group of former athletes sued FanDuel and Draftkings over the unauthorized use of the players’ names and likeness for fantasy sports betting. The class action alleges that the fantasy sports sites used the players’ names and likenesses to promote fantasy college sports contests for which they charged fees and generated about $3 billion. This action comes just weeks after other former athletes voluntarily dismissed a similar lawsuit against FanDuel and Draftkings in Illinois. However, the claims asserted in the current lawsuit slightly differ from the Illinois lawsuit. The Illinois suit was pretty over-inclusive in that included college athletes who ...
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Lawsuit Claims Get Hard’s Moviemakers Stole Story Ideas

lawsuit X-Men screenwriter David Hayter and Howard Films (on behalf of Hollywood writer and casting director Tamer Howard) are suing the producer and talent managers of the Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, claiming the comedy was based off of their story ideas. According to the complaint, in May of 2012, Hayter and Howard presented ideas, story materials, and treatments to prominent talent managers Jimmy Miller and Julie Darmody for a “prison preparation buddy” comedy, after registering their treatments with the Writers Guild of America. After their agent followed-up with Miller and Darmody several times and received no response, Hayter and Howard believed their ideas were tossed aside. Get Hard went on to make millions of dollars for Miller and Darmody. Hayter and Howard filed a breach of confidence ...
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A Marathon, Not a Sprint: NCAA Concussion Settlement Revised Again

Gavel and money isolated on white A long awaited settlement for NCAA concussion litigation has been revised, once again. The NCAA released the proposal in an effort to address shortfalls in previous settlement plans. The revised settlement, if approved by the court, provides injured student-athletes the option to sue their individual colleges, but only on behalf of players of a single sport. Additionally, the proposal removes a provision that would allow the administrator handling medical monitoring claims to pursue reimbursement from former athletes’ private insurers. The NCAA and lead plaintiffs agreed to the proposed settlement on Friday, May 20, 2016. The previous iteration of the settlement, released on January 26, 2016, received preliminary approval by U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee. At that time, the NCAA offered a $75 million settlement for current and former student-athletes. ...
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House Report Finds NFL Attempted to Circumvent Funding for CTE Research

A recent house report from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Frank Pallone, Jr. found that the NFL attempted to improperly sway the direction of its $30 million donation to the National Institute of Health (NIH). The report, released on Monday, May 23, 2016, confirms previous ESPN reports positing the NFL may be exerting inappropriate influence on the grant process for scientific studies into CTE. Back in 2012, the NFL promised the NIH a $30 million donation to support research of serious medical conditions prominent in athletes. Under the parties agreement the NIH had exclusive control as the NFL “did not reserve the right to weigh in on the grant selection process” which harmonized with the NIH’s policy opposing donor’s from having any control in the decision-making ...
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Former NFL Player’s Lawsuit Against the NFL Alumni Association Will Continue

lawsuit form On May 19, 2016, a federal judge in Florida denied the National Football League Alumni Association’s (NFLAA) motion for judgement on the pleadings in a lawsuit accusing the NFLAA of cutting Earl Christy out of consulting fees after he helped a developer obtain the NFLAA’s endorsement. Christy, a former kickoff returner and defensive back for the New York Jets, entered into a consulting agreement with Tampa developer and attorney, Mark Bouldin. Bouldin represents Validus Senior Living, a provider of “a complete continuum of leading-edge senior living services.” Christy introduced and connected Bouldin to NFLAA President Joe Pisarcik for the purpose of Bouldin obtaining the NFLAA’s endorsement to build assisted living centers. In exchange, Christy claims he was to receive $3,000 per month per each assisted living facility built that had ...
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NFLPA Officially Files Petition for Rehearing in Brady Case

476131714 Unhappy with the Second Circuit’s decision in April to uphold the four game suspension handed down to star quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots for his role in the 2014 Deflategate scandal, the National Football League Players’ Association filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the Second Circuit on Monday, May 23, 2016. The filing comes as no surprise to most, and follows the appellate court’s 2-1 decision to overturn a New York federal judge’s ruling that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell overstepped his boundaries under the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players’ association when he hit Brady with the suspension back in 2015. Monday’s petition requests the entirety of the Second Circuit Judicial Panel, thirteen justices in all, to rehear the case together. Responsively, ...
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NCAA Victory: Order to Post $42 Million Bond Lifted

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-gavel-image21788164 On Friday, May 23, 2016, California U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of the NCAA’s fee bond appeal, granting the organization’s request to not post bond while it appeals the O’Bannon decision. The NCAA filed the fee bond appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court on May 10, 2016, arguing that it was unnecessary to reserve more than $42 million in attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the O’Bannon case. The NCAA claimed that the fee bond would place undue detriment on the organization, which uses about “90 cents of every dollar” for student-athlete support. Attorneys for the players in the suit asserted that the NCAA opposed the fee bond in order to invest and profit off the funds, while the NCAA maintained that all organization funds are used ...
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A Rocky Road for Former NFL Player Seeking Full Disability Benefits

Medicine law concept. Gavel and stethoscope isolated on white Regulated and governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), The Bert Belle/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan and The NFL Player Supplemental Disability Plan said it did not breach its fiduciary duties to beneficiaries and participants of the plan, in an attempt to dismiss one cause of action in a lawsuit brought by a former NFL cornerback. Charles Dimry played for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Diego Chargers during the years 1988-2000. In 1997 and again in 1999, Dimry suffered a major neck injury, resulting in severe radicular symptoms and long-term degenerative complications. Eventually, Dimry’s pain was so severe that he was forced to leave the NFL and work as a training director. Dimry continued to suffer from progressively worsening pain, ...
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More Discovery Required in NHL Concussion Suit

iStock_000011935095_Medium-e1431974978755-150x100 On May 16, 2016, in the ongoing suit between retired NHL players and the league, a Minnesota Federal Judge ruled more discovery is needed to determine if the former player’s claims are preempted by an NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement and, if so, which one. In January, the NHL filed a motion to stay discovery until their motion to dismiss was ruled on, which the former players opposed. On Monday, a judge sided with the retired players in allowing discovery to continue. The six retired players named in the suit argue that the NHL is responsible for the effects of brain injuries caused by concussive impacts due to the fact they knew or should have known of the dangers of repeated head trauma. In contrast, the NHL contends that these state-based ...
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