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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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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A Fight Over Baseball Hall-of-Famer Honus Wagner’s Trademarks

Florida-based Honus Wagner Co. filed a complaint on July 5, 2017 in Florida federal court against an Indiana licensing management company for trademark infringement. Honus Wagner, considered by some to be the greatest shortstop ever, played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936 as one of its original five members. In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, no player was more dominant than Wagner. He led the majors in hits, runs, doubles, total bases, extra-base hits, runs…
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Baseball Scouts Strike Out on Claims League Conspires on Low Wages

Former Kansas City Royals scout Jordan Wyckoff and ex-Colorado Rockies scout Darwin Cox urged the Second Circuit on August 24, 2017 to narrowly construe Major League Baseball’s long-held antitrust exemption to only those functions essential to the holding of actual professional baseball games. The three-judge panel was skeptical of the scouts’ oral arguments. The dispute came up on appeal after the class action suit on behalf of 1,600 scouts was dismissed in September 2016 by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The complaint alleged that…
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Can Consumers of Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats Hit a Homerun in Legal Battle Against Wilson Sporting Goods?

In January, a class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago against Wilson Sporting Goods by a consumer who purchased a Louisville Slugger baseball bat for his high-school age son. The Louisville Slugger baseball bat has a design flaw that causes its handle to move independently of the barrel when swung, which is alleged to decrease the power and detract from the performance of the bat. Wilson Sporting Goods also advertised the bats as meeting standards set by the United States Specialty…
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Rawlings Defensive Over Easton’s Plan to Release Bats With Similar Logo

On August 15, 2017, Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. filed a lawsuit against Easton Diamond Sports LLC arguing that Easton ripped off Rawlings popular “5150” brand of bats with a new “S150” line that Easton planned to release pursuant to a recent equipment rule change. Starting January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball has banned the use of all 2 ¼ inch barrel baseball bats constructed with composite material in the barrel, unless approved. Little League bats will now be governed by the BBCOR bat standard
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