Judge Alludes to Dismissal of Caddy Ad Lawsuit

At a hearing on Thursday, December 3, 2015, U.S. District Judge Vince Chabbria indicated that he is likely to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit brought by professional caddies against PGA Tour, Inc. In February 2015, professional caddie Mike Hicks and 81 others filed a class-action antitrust suit against the PGA Tour in a California federal court, alleging the Tour’s misappropriation of their “likeness and images in commercial activities.” The caddies seek for a share of revenue flowing in from caddies wearing bibs that display sponsors’ logos,…
Continue reading...

Former Sous Chef Wants Florida Golf Club to Fork Over OT Pay

On November 6, 2015, former sous chef Marcos Castro initiated a putative class action against a Florida golf club, claiming that the club withheld overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Castro alleges that his former employer, Windstar Club Inc., failed to compensate him with “time-and-a-half” pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Castro claims that other employees in similar positions were also intentionally deprived of overtime compensation and he seeks an expedited order so that he…
Continue reading...

Titleist’s Golf Ball IP Litigation: Is There a Dimple Threatening the Case?

An action filed in Spring 2015 by Acushnet, manufacturer of Titleist golf balls, sued ten direct-sale golf companies for patent infringement.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendants were selling golf balls using Titleist’s “triangular dipyramid dimple pattern.”  The pattern has 318 dimples made up of three different dimple sizes and arranged in a particular triangular pattern. The link between the defendants is that each company purchased their golf balls from the same Taiwanese company before reselling them to customers through direct internet sales. …
Continue reading...

PGA Tour Seeks Early Exit from Caddy Ad Lawsuit

On Friday August 21, PGA Tour Inc. filed a motion to dismiss with federal court, seeking to end the antitrust class-action lawsuit waged against it by a group of tour caddies. The lawsuit, brought by 80 PGA Tour caddies back in February, stems from the bibs the PGA requires the caddies to wear while walking the tour courses during tournaments.  The bibs contain advertisements of Tour sponsors and the caddies are not compensated for the advertising space they are forced to wear.  The lawsuit…
Continue reading...

Appeals Court OK’s Lawsuit Against Jack Nicklaus to Go Forward

A Colorado couple succeeded in dragging Jack Nicklaus into a legal battle after a federal appeals court allowed the suit to go forward. The couple Jeffrey and Judee Donner filed a lawsuit in 2011 against Nicklaus over a misrepresentation of his membership in Mount Holly, a luxury golf resort in Utah that went bankrupt in 2009 before it was even open.  They also alleged that the legend “solicited” them in 2007 to invest $1.5 million in the resort. More specifically, they mentioned promotional video that…
Continue reading...

McIlroy Settles Management Dispute Out of Court

On Wednesday Morning, February 4, Rory McIlroy and his former management company Horizon Sports Management confirmed a settlement between the two parties, ending the multi-million dollar contract dispute that has dragged out for 2 years. Back in 2013, Rory McIlroy brought this lawsuit against his former management company claiming the 2011 contract he agreed to was signed under undue influence, informality, and without legal advice, making it invalid and unenforceable.  Horizon responded by claiming the golfer owes millions in unpaid fees and for breaching…
Continue reading...

PGA Caddies: Pay Us to be Human Billboards

Professional caddie Mike Hicks and 81 others filed a class-action against the PGA Tour in U.S. District Court in California, alleging the Tour’s misappropriation of their “likenesses and images in commercial activities.” The caddies seek for a share of revenue flowing in from caddies wearing bibs that display sponsors’ logos, which amounts to $50 million per year.  According to the suit, the caddies allege that they “are made to serve as billboards to advertise, at the direction of the PGA Tour, for some of the…
Continue reading...

World No.1 Golfer Out for Now to Prepare for Trial Against Horizon

According to the Irish Independent, Rory McIlroy will take a break from golf to handle his legal problems against Horizon Sports Management (“Horizon”).  Currently, McIlroy plans to skip the BMW Masters and the WGC-HBC Champions.  He expects to be back in the game in late November when the World Tour Championship starts in Dubai. In 2013, McIlroy brought a suit against his former management company Horizon, claiming that his agreement signed in 2011 was invalid due to alleged undue influence.  He claimed that the company…
Continue reading...

High Crimes on the Golf Course?

On February 8, golfers at the Tarpon Springs Golf Course were issued a stern warning by club general manager Chuck Winship upon entering the clubhouse: betting on league play was no longer allowed.  Apparently, Winship was under investigation by the Tarpon Springs Police Department for permitting casual gambling by club members.  Commenting on the investigation, Winship noted, “Originally . . . I thought it was a joke.”  It wasn’t, however – Winship later learned that the investigation had been passed on to the Pinellas-Pasco State…
Continue reading...

PGA Asks Court to Buck Singh’s Deer-Antler Spray Case

A New York judge must decide whether to dismiss Vijay Singh’s case claiming public humiliation against the PGA Tour.  As we reported at that time, in May, Singh sued the PGA for the “reckless administration and implementation” of its anti-doping program.  On October 24, 2013, the PGA asked the judge to dismiss the case. In January 2013, Sports Illustrated reported that Singh admitted to using a product called “The Ultimate Spray.”  The spray contains trace amounts of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), which is banned by…
Continue reading...