The Brain of Former WWE Wrestler Chyna Donated for CTE Research

On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, former WWE superstar Chyna passed away at the age of 46. After her death, her manager, Anthony Anzaldo, made a statement that her brain has been sent for research to see whether she was suffering from a brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Although the cause of her death is unknown, Anzaldo said they are donating her brain because they “want to know what made Chyna tick.” Chyna’s real name was Joan Marie Laurer, she was known as the “9th Wonder of the World.” She was a groundbreaking member of the WWE and often wrestled against men. She was the WWE Women’s Champion and the only undefeated Women’s Champion in the WWF. Lately, CTE has been a controversial and devastating disease in ...
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Second Circuit Overturns Brady Ruling, Reinstates QB’s Suspension

iStock_000002268888_Large On Monday, April 25, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit voted two-to-one to overturn NFL superstar Tom Brady’s voided 2015 suspension. Brady, who has quarterbacked the league-dominating New England Patriots to four Super Bowl wins this century, was originally handed a four game suspension prior to the start of last year’s football season for his role in the intentional deflation of game balls during the 2014 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. Brady and the NFL Players Association appealed the suspension, and in September 2015, District Judge Richard Berman of the Southern District of New York found that Commissioner Roger Goodell had exceeded his authority as arbitrator under the terms of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement in suspending Brady, and overturned the decision. The Second Circuit, ...
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MLB Anti-Trust Settlement Hits Snag with Objector

Back in 2012, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Major League Baseball and some of its broadcast partners, including Comcast and DirecTV, alleging that the high prices for “out of market” games and the blackouts of local “in market” telecasts constituted violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The suit accused the defendants of protecting exclusive territories that had been carved out for live-game video presentation using “anticompetitive blackouts.” However, recently it seemed that the lawsuit was coming to an end, with Forbes reporting that the MLB had settled the class action suit in federal court. Sources had indicated that the settlement would include the provision of single-team-in-market streaming for $84.99 for the season as well as the cost of MLB.TV Premium being lowered from $129.99 to $109.99. The MLB released ...
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Legalizing Fantasy Sports May Wreck Tribal Relations

While lobbying for legislation has proven to be the path for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), a new twist has been added to the story. On April 18, 2016, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepson released an opinion that could severely jeopardize, or complicate, oncoming DFS legislation. In an opinion letter to Connecticut senators, Jepson stated, “There is a substantial risk that the passage of such legislation could jeopardize the State’s revenue-sharing arrangements with the Tribes.” Connecticut had proposed legalizing fantasy sports with an 8.75 percent tax on the fantasy operators. However, the state could potentially lose the 25 percent share of tribal slot revenues that is based on the exclusivity promised to two Connecticut tribal nations, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe. The tribes may see the legislation as a ...
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NBA2K16 Lawsuit Questions Who Owns Tattoos

Play game with a joystick A tattoo licensing company, Solid Oak Sketches LLC, is suing NBA2K, the professional basketball video game series, for copyright infringement. Solid Oak argues that the realistic depiction of tattoos on the bodies of multiple NBA players, including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, in the NBA2K16 video game violated the copyright that Solid Oak owns. On April 19, 2016, the makers of the video game filed for a motion to dismiss the claim. Solid Oaks  obtained the license to most of the tattoos from the original artists in 2015. After obtaining the rights, Solid Oaks sent multiple letters to NBA2K makes offering to sell the license to the tattoos for $1.1 million. Solid Oak computed the worth of each of the tattoos based on past awards and the sales of NBA2K. ...
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If People Watch, Bellator MMA Will Find a Way to Book it

Bellator MMA announced that Kimbo Slice is scheduled to face James Thompson for the second time on July 16, 2016 in London’s O2 Area. At first glance, this announcement is not extraordinarily notable. But, upon further analysis, this news demonstrates Bellator’s emphasis of profit over regulation of Performance-Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Kimbo Slice, who was born Kevin Ferguson, is a big name in the world of MMA. Big names draw ratings, which ultimately translates to big profit. Slice’s previous fights have drawn very high ratings. But, at what cost? Prior to a fight on February 1, 2016 in Houston, Kimbo Slice tested positive for an anabolic steroid known as nandrolone. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR) immediately placed Slice on a 90-day suspension while the matter is being resolved. ...
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MLB Wins Partial Dismissal in Stadium Netting Suit

iStock_000014002689_Full MLB partially won its motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit over stadium netting. A California federal judge recently ruled that the court lacked authority over the claims against out-of-state MLB teams. The lawsuit arose in July 2015, when named plaintiff Gail Payne brought suit against all 30 MLB teams and Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred. The complaint alleged that MLB failed to protect fans with proper safety netting. Payne, a longtime season ticket holder of the Oakland A’s, claimed she once had to duck from a flying foul ball; however, she has never been hit with a ball or pieces of a shattered bat. The plaintiffs seek an injunction requiring MLB to increase safety netting in all ballparks. MLB moved to dismiss the suit on several grounds. MLB argued ...
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Judge May Revive Wrongful Death Suit Against NHL

Judge Holding Documents  In December, an Illinois judge granted summary judgment dismissing the wrongful death claim Derek Boogaard’s parents brought against the NHL. After years of fighting for their son, the judge recently indicated that two counts of their amended complaint may be sufficient for the case to proceed. Boogaard was an NHL enforcer for six years; he played for the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers. In 2011, Boogaard died of an overdose after years of fighting, sustaining various injuries, and becoming addicted to painkillers. After his death, it was discovered that he had CTE, a brain disease which may affect a person’s impulse control, judgment, and reasoning. Boogaard’s parents brought suit against the NHL alleging that the League was negligent in caring for Boogaard after his painkiller addiction. Initially, the ...
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CBS Responds to Lawsuit Over Royalties Dispute for Judge Judy

Royalties and payments On Friday, April 15, 2016, attorneys for television-giant CBS and its entertainment parent company, Big Ticket Entertainment, responded to a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court back in March by a talent agent claiming entitlement to disgorged profits and royalties from the largely successful Judge Judy television program. The complaint, which was filed by agent Richard Lawrence on behalf of his current company, Rebel Entertainment, alleges that it represented two executive producers of the “Judge Judy” program who developed the idea of the “real” no-nonsense courtroom show back in the mid-1990s, stating also that CBS expressly breached the contract between the talent agency and the television company in 2010 when it ceased making royalty payments due to star Judge Judy Sheindlin’s exorbitant salary of $47 million a year. Claiming ...
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Can a Doctor Diagnose CTE in Living NHL Players?

On April 12, 2016, the National Hockey League requested that a Minnesota federal judge require a doctor to disclose his examination process, as it would be the first time a doctor would diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a living patient. This argument stems from debate over class certification in the former NHL player’s class action lawsuit against the NHL. The former players of the NHL took a leaf out of the National Football League’s playbook and filed independent lawsuits against the NHL for failing to prevent head trauma, for failing to warn players of risks, and for promoting violent play in the game. In August 2014, the individual cases were joined into a class action lawsuit against the league. Since this time, approximately 105 former NHL players have joined ...
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