Category Archives: Litigation

Former Track & Field Athletes Petition for En Banc Review in the Face of Latest Defeat in Student-Athlete Employment Fight

Two former NCAA track and field athletes are petitioning the Seventh Circuit to overrule itself, in one of the highest profile student-athlete lawsuits since the Ed O’Bannon litigation. Plaintiffs Gillian Berger and Taylor Hennig competed for the University of Pennsylvania, and argue that the hours spent training and competing for their school violated the wage-and-hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The defendants, which include the NCAA, won a motion to dismiss the case this past February. That order was upheld by…

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Family of Derek Boogaard Asks Federal Judge to Remove Tort Claims to State Court

The parents of former NHL player Derek “Boogeyman” Boogaard are asking a Federal District Court judge to remove their wrongful death claims — against the NHL — to state court. Their request comes on the heels of a ruling striking all claims involving federal law, and, Boogaard’s parents opine, the only allegations left to decide involve state tort law claims. Filed in 2013, the suit focused on the NHL’s failure to protect Boogaard and permitted him to return to action without completing recovery for his…

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Packers’ Defensive Lineman Drops Suit Flagging NFL, NFLPA for ‘Illegal Formation’

A Green Bay Packers defensive lineman has dropped a lawsuit against the NFL and NFL Players Association on Monday, December 19, 2016. Mike Pennel, the third-year nose tackle from CSU-Pueblo, was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Pennel intended to appeal the league’s finding, contained in a November 8 letter, at a hearing set for December 6. Before that hearing took place, however, Pennel filed suit in the Federal Northern District Court of Ohio on November 29. The substance of Pennel’s argument focused not…

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“UConn’t do that!” Ex-Soccer Player Suing University for Revoking Athletic Scholarship

In a bizarre lawsuit, a former soccer player from the University of Connecticut (UConn) is filing suit against her alma mater for taking her athletic scholarship away, but not for the reason you might think. It all started in 2014 after the UConn women’s soccer team won the American Athletic Conference title game. In a moment of jubilation, then-freshman Noriana Radwan hugged a teammate and then looked to the television camera directly in front of her, and proudly “flipped the bird,” likely without any idea…

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Impact Of North Carolina’s Likely Repeal Of HB2

As previously discussed on this blog, North Carolina has seen a variety of sports, entertainment, and business organizations voice their disapproval of House Bill 2, otherwise known as the bathroom bill. Since it was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, HB2’s financial impact has rippled across North Carolina. In July, the NBA elected to relocate its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte as a result of the much debated bill. In September, the ACC announced that all neutral-site conference championship games planned to take place…

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Ohio Takes a Closer Look at Accrual of Injury in Concussion Case

The long-lasting nature of a concussion injury may be a way around the statute of limitation problems for athletes bringing concussion suits. The Ohio Court of Appeals, which revived a former Notre Dame football player’s case against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), recently reasoned that there was nothing about the player’s condition prior to diagnosis (within the statute of limitations) that would have alerted him that his injury was the result of the NCAA alleged tortious conduct. Steven Schmitz, who passed away…

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Supreme Court Blocks Appeals Over NFL Concussion Settlement

On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will not hear the appeals concerning the concussion-related settlement between the National Football League and more than 20,000 former players. This class-action originated when former NFL players accused the NFL of hiding its true knowledge of the link between football and the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Upon reaching a settlement, however, a group of dissenting retirees argued that it “unfairly favored currently injured retirees and left thousands of…

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Student Athletes: Don’t Quit Your Day Job

On December 5, 2016, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case brought by former student athletes of the track and field team at the University of Pennsylvania, against the University, the NCAA and several other Division I universities. The former student athletes claimed that during their time in college athletics they were employees of the defendants and therefore entitled to a minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The district court held that the student athletes, who formerly attended…

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NFL Takes its Turn, Asks High Court to Not Review Concussion Settlement

A few weeks ago, it was the players. Now, the National Football League is asking the Supreme Court to not reject a deal between the league and roughly 20,000 former players dealing with systemic injuries of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals expressly approved a settlement that was expected to provide the two certified classes with more than $900 million of relief. The approval of the settlement, authorized earlier this year, was met with resistance. A group of players petitioned the…

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Arena Football League Insurer Gets the First Down in Concussion Lawsuit

Although it may seem like the NFL is always involved in concussion litigation, another football organization — Arena Football League — is facing accusations over its own concussion procedures. In June 2015, Lorenzo Breland, who played for the Tulsa Talons and the New Orleans Voodoo during his time with the league, sued the AFL after suffering from two concussions. Breland suffered his first blow to the head in 2011. Then in 2014, he suffered a second concussion that ended his football career. Breland sued Arena…

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