SCOTUS Declines Opportunity to Reconsider MLB Antitrust Exemption

Major League Baseball’s immunity from antitrust violations under the Sherman Act has been called an “anomaly.” It has also been consistently upheld by courts since 1922, when it was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. The exemption was codified by Congress in the Curt Flood Act of 1998, maintaining an exemption for MLB and its clubs when conducting the “business of baseball” and providing more freedom to players seeking free agency and salary arbitration. Despite striking out with lower courts, two…
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Marlins Move Former Employee’s Wage Suit to Federal Court

In April 2018, a former marketing manager for the Miami Marlins filed a lawsuit against the team, claiming lost wages and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. On Friday, June 1, 2018, the Marlins filed a notice of removal, moving the case to federal court pursuant to the club’s contention that the former employee’s complaint raises substantial questions of federal law. Boris Garcia Menier started as an intern with the Marlins in 2006 and later became a marketing coordinator, supervisor and then manager…
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Chicago Cubs Have to Produce Original Emails in Former Scout’s Lawsuits

On October 18, 2017, a former professional baseball scout with the Chicago Cubs Baseball Club, Dennis Henderson, sued the Cubs for violating the California Labor Code, California Family Rights Act, and for discriminating against him on the basis of his age and disability. Henderson is over 40-years-old and had hip surgery while employed with the Cubs. While Henderson worked for the Cubs, he was responsible for scouting three professional baseball organizations; however, according to the Cubs summary judgment motion, scouts who were performing well…
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Misrepresentation of Baseball Bat Weight Sparks Class Action Suit

Easton Baseball / Softball, Inc. is a top manufacturer of baseball and softball products, has been subjected to a class action suit filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California. After discovering that the baseball bat he purchased for his son was heavier than advertised, plaintiff Ricky Wisdom is seeking to stop the sale of incorrectly weighted bats and recover damages for consumers paying a premium for Easton’s products. Easton has acquired a strong reputation in the sporting goods industry for…
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MLB Players Move to Compel Discovery Yet Again in Al Jazeera Libel Suit

 On April 20, 2018, MLB players Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard, plaintiffs in the Al Jazeera libel case, filed another motion to compel discovery in the ongoing battle. As we have previously reported, this is not the players’ first attempt at extracting additional information from defendant Al Jazeera amid discovery. The defamation suit stems from their production and airing of a 2015 documentary, called “The Dark Side,” which accused the MLB players of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) while playing for the MLB. The entire…
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White Sox’s Move to Dismiss Dustin Fowler’s Negligence Suit

On February 13, 2018, the Chicago White Sox moved to dismiss a suit brought by brought by former New York Yankees outfielder, Dustin Fowler. Fowler, now a member of the Oakland Athletics, sued the White Sox claiming that the team negligently caused him to injure himself during a game at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox. The incident occurred on June 29, 2017, when Fowler was running at full speed, chasing a foul ball, and crashed into the low corner wall. His right…
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MLB, Chicago Cubs Ask Judge to Toss Fan’s Foul Ball Blindness Suit

The Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball moved to dismiss a negligence suit on December 15, 2017 before a Cook County Circuit Court, arguing that the Illinois Baseball Facility Liability Act bars the plaintiff’s claims. John “Jay” Loos sued the Cubs and MLB in October, claiming they were negligent for failing to install enough netting behind home plate. Loos claimed the foul ball hit by a Pittsburgh Pirates player on August 29 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field not only left him blind in one eye, but…
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More Ripken Baseball Camps Added to Complaint in Patent Infringement Fight

A Maryland federal court on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, granted Zito LLC, a company suing Cal Ripken Jr.’s baseball camps, a chance to amend its complaint against the retired player’s camps over patent infringement, finding that adding four more Ripken-owned camps would not prejudice the company. The Ripken camps had argued that the amendment would be made in bad faith because they allege the additional parties are unrelated and the additions were made as a work-around for an inability to change the theory of infringement.…
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Zachary Lutz Fights for Suit Against Japanese Team to Stay in U.S.

On December 14, 2017, former New York Mets player Zachary Lutz requested the Pennsylvania federal court to keep his suit alive against Japanese baseball team owners. Rakuten Baseball Inc. moved to dismiss Lutz’s case by citing to parallel proceedings in Japan. In August, Lutz initiated the lawsuit against Rakuten Inc., the owner of Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, for refusing to sign a contract with Lutz for the 2015 season after months negotiating, which left Lutz unable to find another team under similar terms. Lutz opposed
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Agent and Trainer Seek Light Sentences for Smuggling in Cuban Ballplayers

On October 10, 2017, baseball agent Bartolo Hernandez and sports trainer Julio Estrada requested a Florida federal judge give light sentences — instead of the government’s request for harsher sentences — for their convictions for smuggling Cuban baseball players into the United States. In March, a Miami jury convicted Hernandez and Estrada for their roles in a scheme that coerced vulnerable baseball players, obtained false documents, and assisted in fraudulent and outright illegal entry into the U.S. Hernandez faces 3 to 15 years in prison…
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