Lance Armstrong Settles Fraud Case for $5 Million

As we have previously reported, Lance Armstrong has been battling a dispute with former teammate, Floyd Landis, and the United States Postal Service (USPS) over his illicit use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), which has apparently cost the government millions in undue sponsorship costs. On April 29, 2018, Armstrong agreed to settle the issue for $5 million, although the USPS initially sought close to $100 million. Of that $5 million, Landis is expected to receive $1.65 million. The stir initially began in 2006, when Armstrong…
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NFL Seeks Special Investigator to Query Fraud in Billion Dollar Concussion Settlement

On April 13, 2018, the NFL filed a motion seeking the appointment of a special investigator to more closely examine potentially fraudulent concussion claims that may be “clogging the system” of the $1 billion settlement. Of the 2,000 plus claims submitted to date, about 46 percent indicate the presence of fraud, according to the motion. The NFL maintains that a new investigator will have the appropriate resources to uncover intentional fraud, which the current claims administrator does not have the capacity to do. Specifically, the…
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Chick-Fil-A and ESPN Under Attack for Copyright Infringement

On April 10, 2018, music producer, Platinum Jack Entertainment, LLC filed suit in a Texas court against Chick-Fil-A and ESPN for their allegedly impermissible use of a band’s original music in recent commercials. The commercials feature sportscasters Joey Galloway and Adnan Virk of ESPN making chicken-related football commentary, with the tune of the song in dispute playing in the background. Though the song lacks the vocals that would make its appropriation clear, Platinum Jack contends that it is identifiable sans lyrics and is currently asserting…
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Widow of Notre Dame Football Player Hopeful for CTE Suit to Stand

As we have previously covered, the wife of former Notre Dame football player, Steven Schmitz, filed a lawsuit targeting Notre Dame and the NCAA in 2014 on behalf of her late husband. She is seeking to recover for the college and organization’s alleged “reckless disregard” for the safety of college football players, specifically during the time period that Schmitz spent playing for the team in the 1970s, which led to his diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 2012, and his ultimate passing in…
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Update on Lamar Dawson’s Student-Athlete Wage Suit

On April 4, 2018, attorneys representing the NCAA wrote a letter to the Ninth Circuit notifying the court that the U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed a Ninth Circuit decision that the plaintiff, Lamar Dawson, cited in his opening brief. As we have previously reported, Dawson began a class-action lawsuit in September 2016, alleging the NCAA and Pac-12 violated California law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not paying student-athletes minimum wage or overtime. In April 2017, the NCAA’s motion to dismiss was…
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Jury Reduces Fan’s Award in Case Against L.A. Dodgers

On September 16, 2009, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers fan, Leonard Romo, suffered injuries after Dodgers’ security guards tackled, handcuffed, and dragged him. He suffered shoulder, knee, back, and neck injuries, missed work, and later underwent knee surgery. Romo subsequently sued the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to the Dodgers, Romo and his daughter became belligerent after security guards asked Romo’s daughter to turn her T-shirt inside out because it had offensive language on it. After the 2016 personal injury action, Romo a jury awarded $475,000. Of…
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James Dolan and MSG Move to Dismiss Charles Oakley’s Defamation Claim

On March 30, 2018, Madison Square Garden, and New York Knicks owner, James Dolan asked Judge Richard J. Sullivan to dismiss the defamation claims brought by former New York Knick, Charles Oakley. As we have previously reported, Oakley sued defendants in September 2017 for allegedly humiliating himafter he was kicked out of a New York Knicks game and labeled an alcoholic on a radio talk show. According to the motion to dismiss, “[t]his is a meritless lawsuit brought by a famous former Knick…
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EA Still on the Hook for NFL Likeness Misuse; Wins on Sanctions Motion in the Meantime

As we have previously reported, Electronic Arts Inc. continues to be under fire for trying to evade responsibility for its alleged unauthorized use of thousands of NFL players’ likenesses in its video games, most notably in Madden NFL. On March 29, 2018, the retired players filed a motion in opposition to EA’s third attempt at summary judgment. According to the retired players’ motion, they represent a proposed class of over 7,500 other retired NFL players who claim to have been similarly aggrieved by EA’s…
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Scope of NCAA Corruption and Bribery Case Grows

On April 10, 2018, attorney Robert S. Khuzami added the University of Kansas and North Carolina State University to the list of NCAA basketball programs involved in the NCAA corruption and bribery case. As we have continued to cover, this case involves Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins. Each stand accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for promises that the players would enroll at Adidas sponsored NCAA Division I…
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Missouri State Court Sides Against NFL in Move Petition from St. Louis Rams

On April 3, 2018, a Missouri Supreme Court Judge denied the NFL’s motion to dismiss in its lawsuit against the City of St. Louis, County of St. Louis, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (SCA), which operates the St. Louis Rams former stadium. The NFL attempted to argue that the Missouri state court did not have the jurisdictional authority to hear the case where The Rams Football Company, LLC, the NFL, and every NFL owner, 89 separate entities in total, were…
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