Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

Show Me the Money: NCAA Agrees to Pay Over $200 Million to Former Student Athletes

In a historic moment, the NCAA agreed to settle a portion of a massive class-action lawsuit earlier this month. The total amount — $208.7 million — was agreed to by the NCAA to remedy student athletes who competed prior to January 2015, when the five major college athletic conferences, including the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, and Big 12, voted to increase the amount of an athletic scholarship to cover the cost of attending a university. The settlement requires the payment of roughly $6,700 dollars…

Continue Reading....

O’Bannon Attorneys Attempt to Cash In with the Ninth Circuit

On February 16, 2017, attorneys for the student-athletes in the infamous O’Bannon case argued in front of the Ninth Circuit that they are entitled to over $42 million in attorney’s fees. The attorney’s obtained an injunction from the district court that the NCAA could not cap student-athlete aid packages at below the full cost of attendance, and that student-athletes could receive up to $5,000 per year in cash payments for use of their name, image, and likeness. However, the appellate court reversed the district court’s…

Continue Reading....

Are EA’s Visual Representations in Madden Generic Enough to Avoid Liability in Publicity Claim?

In 2010 Michael Davis and other former NFL players filed suit in California, alleging that video game maker Electronic Arts (EA) violated their rights of publicity when it used famous teams from the past in Madden games from 2001 until 2009. In their complaint, the retired players argued that while EA obtained permission from current players to use their names and likeness, the company failed to do so with the retired players. While the former players did not allege that their names actually appeared in…

Continue Reading....

NCAA Players’ Likeness Suit Attempts to Gain New Life

On February 17, 2017, two former Catholic University basketball players from the 2001 Division III national championship team pleaded for the Ninth Circuit to revive their class action against a website, T3Media, which sold official NCAA photographs from their championship season. The suit commenced in 2012, but was dismissed in 2015 as a District Court judge found that the website did not exceed its copyright and, therefore, was preempted by the Copyright Act. In response to the court’s dismissal, members of professional player unions in…

Continue Reading....

Splitting Blades: Houston Texans Combat Latest Challenge to NRG Stadium Turf Safety

Coming on the heels of hosting Super Bowl LI, the National Football League and the Houston Texans are fending off another lawsuit resulting from a football-related injury. Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans filed suit last October, alleging that the turf at NRG Stadium, the home field of the Houston Texans, caused his career-ending injury. During a game against the Texans on November 2, 2014, Ryans jumped to intercept a pass, but, upon landing, tore his Achilles tendon, ending his season. Ryans seeks damages…

Continue Reading....

Will President Trump Change the Course of Sports Betting in the United States?

Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court chose not to strike down New Jersey’s challenge to the federal ban on sport betting, but rather called upon President Donald Trump and his administration to opine on the controversial issue. This decision comes after New Jersey’s multi-year long fight to convince the federal government to end its ban on sport betting, in order to benefit New Jersey’s struggling casinos and racetracks. As background, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) has prohibited most states…

Continue Reading....

NFL Painkiller Lawsuit Dismissed

California Federal District Court Judge William Alsup dismissed in part a class-action lawsuit filed by former NFL players who alleged teams forced players to ingest painkillers in order to keep them on the field regardless of the health risks posed and the potential long-term consequences. The complaint, filed against all 32 teams of the NFL, stated the teams’ main goal was to mask pain and conceal injuries. In July 2016, Judge Alsup refused to dismiss the lawsuit, despite the NFL’s protestations that the claims were…

Continue Reading....

NLRB Opens its Doors to Protect College Football Players as Employees

On January 31, 2017, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) released a memo which stated it believed football players at private colleges qualify as employees. The Board declined to answer this question in 2015 when they dismissed a unionization effort by players at Northwestern University, citing concerns of instability if such a decision was rendered that only pertained to private universities. However, a recent decision by the NLRB that found in favor of graduate teaching assistants challenging their status…

Continue Reading....

Paul McCartney Seeks to Terminate Sony’s Copyright Interests in Legendary Beatles’ Tracks

Paul McCartney has commenced a full-out mission to re-acquire complete ownership of the copyright interests in the Beatles’ songs Sony acquired rights to 50 years ago. On January 11, 2016, McCartney sought confirmation from a New York federal judge on that he will not face breach of contract liability in the process. McCartney filed termination notices in 2008 pursuant to a provision in the Copyright Act, which affords song-makers whose songs were made prior to 1978 the right to terminate copyright licenses and assignments after…

Continue Reading....

NHL’s Subpoena Requests Regarding CTE: Valid Production Request or Invasion of Privacy?

Beginning in September, 2015 the National Hockey League issued subpoenas to two doctors at Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (Boston CTE) in order to compel production of the center’s research related to the league’s concussion litigation. In October 2017, the NHL issued another subpoena, seeking information regarding Lazarus Zeidel — who was added as a named plaintiff in the concussion lawsuit against the league after being diagnosed with CTE in a post-mortem analysis of his brain. While the league argued that the request…

Continue Reading....