Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

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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NFL Potentially Takes Another Hit in the Concussion Litigation

The latest story in the NFL class action concussion lawsuit spells more potential trouble for the league.  Late last week, news surfaced that the NFL’s retirement board had prior knowledge of the potentially devastating effects caused by long-term head injuries incurred throughout the course of a football career.  In particular, the board’s at-issue report indicated that the league had paid more than $2 million in disability benefits to certain players who had suffered brain injuries, noting that one of those players (ex-Pittsburgh Steeler center Mike…

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Injured Texans Punter Kicks Back at Reliant Stadium Owners Over Unsafe Turf

Former Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann sued the owners of Reliant Stadium for negligence over the career-threatening knee injury he sustained last December due to allegedly “unsafe turf.” The grass at Reliant Stadium is laid out in approximately 1,200 8′ x 8′ squares, which creates thousands of seams that threaten players’ safety, one of which resulted in Hartmann’s injury. Grass turf in most other stadiums consist of a single piece, posing little to no threat of unexpectedly snagging a player’s foot.  Hartmann alleges that the…

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Pandora Opens Box of Copyright Issues with Proposal to Congress

Over one hundred artists signed an open letter to be published in this weekend’s Billboard Magazine, making it abundantly clear that they oppose Pandora’s stance on The Internet Radio Fairness Act, which would decrease the royalty rates paid by Internet radio companies. Signees include crowd favorites such as Katy Perry, Rihanna, Pink Floyd, Jimmy Buffett and Billy Joel. The artists grouped together to ask Pandora why they are begging Congress to step in and “gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon” when they…

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GUEST ANALYSIS: Cleveland Indians Sent to Dugout – Appeal to 6th Circuit to Stay in the Game

What was supposed to be a fun-filled day at the Cleveland Indians ballpark turned tragic.  An inflatable slide set up just outside the ballpark as part of a promotional event, collapsed killing one visitor and hurting another.  A subsequent investigation found that the slide had not been properly installed. The families of the deceased and injured visitors filed suit.  This particular case deals who’s going to pay. Let’s rewind back to the beginning of the 2010 baseball season.  The Indians had hired National Pastime Sports…

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UPDATE: Players Respond to NFL’s Motion to Dismiss Concussion Litigation

On October 31, 2012, lawyers representing thousands of former NFL players filed an opposition brief to the NFL’s current motion to dismiss pending in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania, insisting that based on the gravity of the harm incurred, their lawsuit against the League must be allowed to move forward.  The brief rejected the NFL’s contention that the action was essentially a labor dispute that needed to be resolved under the league’s collective bargaining agreement. The Plaintiffs accused the NFL of “orchestrat[ing] a disinformation campaign,”…

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Pageant Mom Reigns Supreme with Settlement in Suit Against Tabloids

On November 6, 2012, the mother of Isabella Barrett (a child who appeared on TLC’s child beauty pageant television show ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’) settled a libel lawsuit filed against TMZ and the Daily Mall, two media outlets who allegedly “sexualized” the child’s performance at a January charity event in several news articles.  The complaint, which originally sought $10 million from each of the defendants, accused the media outlets of portraying Isabelle in a manner that was “perceived sexually, erotically and pornographically by the readership of…

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Tom Cruise’s Defamation Suit Proves it’s Risky Business for Tabloids to Cover Suri

On October 24, 2012, Tom Cruise brought a defamation action against the publisher of Life & Style and In Touch Magazines in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  The suit claims that the defendants published headlines indicating that he had abandoned his daughter Suri after his divorce with Katie Holmes, and seeks $50 million in damages. Some ‘at issue’ images included a picture captioned “Suri in tears, abandoned by her dad,” and featured a tearful photo of the young girl.  In response,…

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