Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Eye

On September 8, 2009, John C. Coomer went to see a Kansas City Royals baseball game, an activity he had done dozens of times before.  This time, however, he would not return home unscathed – during an in-game promotion known as the Hotdog Launch, Coomer was struck in the eye by a flying dog thrown by “Sluggerrr,” the team’s mascot.  While the story might seem amusing, Coomer’s injuries were not; the impact of the hotdog detached Coomer’s retina, forcing him to undergo two surgeries to…

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The Grinch Might Have Stolen Christmas, but Suit Says Disney Stole Christmas Movie Idea

On January 14, 2013, two producers, Beth Grossbard and Barri Rosenblum, sued Disney, ABC, ABC Family and former ABC executive Beth Miller for breach of an implied in-fact contract and breach of confidence. Grossbard and Rosenblum allege the network stole their idea for a Christmas movie. Grossbard and Rosenblum pitched the idea for a movie called “I Hate Christmas” to ABC Family executives in 2005.  Although the network turned down their movie idea, their complaint contends that the executives reworked those same ideas into “The…

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‘McDreamy’ Bests Starbucks in Steamy Auction for Seattle Coffee Chain

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Karen Overstreet in Seattle approved the Chapter 11 sale of Seattle chain Tully’s Coffee for $9.15 million to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey successfully out-bid other interested buyers for the chain, including Starbucks. Starbucks wanted half of Tully’s 47 shops in Washington and California to rebrand as their own, while Philippians-based AgriNuture Inc. sought the rest of Tully’s assets. Together, their bid was worth $10.6 million, more than 13% higher than Dempsey’s bid. Despite Starbucks’ contentions over the “confusing and non-conclusive,”…

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Khroma Kroma Kardashian: Makeup Artist Claims Perceived Endorsement by Reality Stars Devalues her Cosmetics

Lee Tillett, an Altamonte Springs makeup artist in Florida, is suing the Kardashian sisters — Kim, Kourtney and Khloe — and Boldface Group Inc. for $10 million in trademark infringement counterclaims, alleging they stole the name of her cosmetics line. Tillett filed her lawsuit on Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles. Tillett filed a claim last year for copyright infringement, but Boldface sought a declaratory judgment in November to use the Khroma name despite Tillett’s trademark to the name Kroma. Tillett’s counterclaim was filed…

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Concussion Link to Seau Suicide?

Junior Seau committed suicide nearly eight months ago via self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.  Now, reports composed by three independent neurologists have confirmed that Seau – the 20 year NFL veteran linebacker and long-time San Diego Charger – suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or “CTE.”  As described by an ESPN report, this condition is a “progressive disease associated with repeated head trauma.”   CTE has only recently been identified as a potential side effect of playing professional football, a game where players often experience repeated…

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Former Agent Sues for Cut of ‘Pawn Stars’ Profits

Talent Agency, Venture IAB Inc., filed suit against A&E Television Networks LLC, claiming they signed on to represent the cast of The History Channel’s hit reality show “Pawn Stars” back in 2007, but were wrongfully terminated soon after the show aired in 2009. The main issue at hand involves the representation agreements between Venture IAB and The Harrison Family (Corey Harrison, Rick Harrison, Richard Harrison) and Austin “Chumlee” Russell, who operate the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Venture IAB claims…

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Yuuuup! ‘Storage Wars’ Ex-Cast Member Claims Show is Staged

David Hester, former star of A&E’s hit reality show “Storage Wars,” filed a wrongful discharge claim in violation of public policy against the network and production company on Tuesday. Hester asserts that he was terminated in retaliation for voicing his opinion in regards to the reality show’s allegedly staged and fraudulent practices in rigging the contents of the storage units up for auction. “Storage Wars” follows buyers who bid for abandoned storage lockers hoping to find valuables that they can sell for a profit. The…

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Will Trainers Become the NFL’s New MVPs in Concussion Fight?

Liability concerns stemming from the NFL’s massive multi-district concussion litigation have been affecting changes which may permanently alter the way the game of football is played.  Essentially, the main suit pits former players against the League, accusing the NFL of failing to warn them of the long term risks of concussions and their effect on later-life cognitive decline. Recent changes made by the NFL include alterations to playing surfaces, equipment, and long standing game-play rules.  For example, the League has shortened the kick-off play to…

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Belly Putter Fans Better Get A New Grip as USGA Proposes Ban

On Wednesday, the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Royal & Ancient (R&A) announced a proposed rule change banning players from anchoring their putters to their belly or other part of their body. If approved, the proposed ban will become part of the rules of golf on January 1, 2016. The proposed ban essentially rids the sport from long-handled or ‘belly’ putters. Such putters have been around for a while, but they recently came into the spotlight as three of the past five major champions…

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Fantasy Sports: A Real Game-Changer for Employers

“The number of Americans playing in fantasy football leagues has grown exponentially of late, transforming what was once a pastime of a devoted few into a national sensation,” write Goldberg Segalla attorneys Seth L. Laver and Michael P. Luongo. “Most employers are cognizant of the importance of maintaining up-to-date computer use policies, social media protocols and other important workplace regulations, yet they inexplicably miss regulating participation in fantasy sports. Make no mistake, however: fantasy sports has real world implications on the workplace.” This article…

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