Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

Former NFL Players Oppose EA’s Play to Dismiss Madden Suit

On September 1, 2017, a proposed class of former NFL players moved a California Federal Court not to dismiss their suit against Electronic Arts (EA), game maker, for the use of their likenesses in the Madden video games. EA is attempting to remove the remaining five claims of the suit after it was successful in August in dismissing the former NFL players’ claims under a state law statute. EA claimed that the former players’ remaining publicity rights claims are preempted by the Copyright Act. The…

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Schutt Sports Found Off-Sides in Argument Against Moving Suit to Illinois

On August 28, 2017, Eastern District of Texas Judge Gilstrap ruled on Riddell Inc.’s motion against Schutt Sports to either dismiss the patent infringement suit brought against it or to move the case from Texas to Illinois. Despite Texas being a proper venue for the suit, Judge Gilstrap ultimately ruled to move the case to Illinois because it serves as a more convenient forum. In May 2017, Schutt filed suit against Riddell claiming infringement on three of its patents for helmet designs — U.S. Patent…

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A Jury Will Decide Whether Pro Golfer Vijay Singh’s Case Against PGA Tour is a “Hole in One”

A New York state judge decided on Wednesday , August 30, 2017, that Vijay Singh’s four-year-old lawsuit against the PGA Tour, Inc. will be decided by a jury. Singh’s lawsuit centers on his temporary suspension by the PGA Tour for using “illicit” deer antler spray as a performance enhancing drug. The suspension was later dropped after the World Anti-Doping Agency said the spray was not banned. Singh admitted to using deer antler spray in a Sports Illustrated interview to help him treat knee and back…

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The NFL’s Players’ Association and the NFL Battle in Two Separate Lawsuits About Ezekiel Elliottt’s Six-Game Suspension

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and the National Football League’s Players’ Association (NFLPA) filed suit seeking to vacate the forthcoming ruling of an arbitrator on the appeal of Elliott’s six-game suspension in a domestic violence case. The suit, filed in federal court in Texas, alleges that the NFL’s appeal process is fundamentally unfair because the arbitrator denied a request to have Elliott’s accuser testify at the appeal hearing. Elliott also alleges that NFL executives hid information that was favorable to his case before Commissioner…

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NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Players Object to Concussion-Related Settlement

Former NCAA women’s lacrosse player Samantha Greiber filed an objection to a proposed settlement reached in class-action litigation against the NCAA over concussions. Greiber alleges she suffers from permanent brain injuries due to concussions sustained from playing lacrosse at Hofstra University. She wanted to wear a helmet to prevent, or at least, minimize her injuries, however, the NCAA currently bars female players from wearing hard helmets, but requires them for male players. Greiber objects to the proposed settlement because it would bar Women Lacrosse Players…

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Zachary Lutz Hopes for Home Run in Suit Against Japanese Team over Abandoned Contract

On August 30, 2017, former New York Mets player Zachary Lutz filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania federal court against the owners of the Japanese baseball team, Rakuten Golden Eagles, for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and promissory estoppel for their sudden abandonment of his negotiated contract. Lutz debuted with the New York Mets in 2012, and in 2014 he decided to sign a contract with the Golden Eagles for the 2014 season, which spanned from June 2014 to November 2014. As the end of the 2014 season…

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court “Take a Gamble” on New Jersey’s Stance to Legalize Sports Betting?

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the State of New Jersey, a state horsemen’s association, and a group of policy members urged the United States Supreme Court to deem a federal law prohibiting states from authorizing sports betting unconstitutional. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is a federal law that directs states to maintain in effect their state-law prohibition on sports betting. New Jersey is trying to overturn the Third Circuit’s August 2016 holding that New Jersey’s attempt to repeal its sports betting…

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Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot Six-Game Suspension Upheld

As expected when Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot and the NFLPA hurriedly filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) on September 5, 2017, arbitrator Harold Henderson has upheld Elliot’s six-game suspension stemming from domestic violence allegations. Elliot and the NFPLA had challenged the arbitration process, alleging it was fundamentally unfair.  Henderson’s decision stated “[i]n a case involving violation of a policy, fair and consistent means whether the process and result were in compliance with the terms of that policy. This one is, in every respect.” The TRO…

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Rams Hit Hard Over Franchise Move to Los Angeles

Last September, a federal judge in St. Louis ruled that the Rams must refund deposits to some fans that purchased personal seat licenses (PSL) during the franchise’s two decades in the city and offer others the opportunity to buy season tickets to games in Los Angeles. That decision by U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. came in three lawsuits, which were later consolidated into one case. At issue were about 46,000 PSLs to buy season tickets in St. Louis first sold by FANS Inc.,…

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Ezekiel Elliot Throws Red Flag Alleging Unfair Arbitration Hearing

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) filed a lawsuit and a temporary injunction in federal court on August 31, 2017 seeking to vacate an arbitration award before it is announced, after a three-day arbitration hearing with arbitrator Harold Henderson. The suit was filed in the face of anticipation that Henderson will rule in favor of the NFL rather than Elliot and uphold Elliot’s six-game suspension. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had imposed the six-game suspension on August 11 after a…

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