Tattoo Copyright Infringement? Judge Says Too Soon To Tell

On March 30, 2018, a federal judge denied a motion in defense of a video game producer’s use of tattoo designs in its basketball-themed games. As we have previously covered, Solid Oak Sketches LLC, the owner of eight copyrighted tattoos donned by several high profile NBA players, filed suit against video game producer and distributer, Take-Two Productions, for alleged infringement. Solid Oak purchased the designs directly from the tattoo artists, and offered to allow Take-Two to use them for $819,000, or perpetually for $1.14…
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Texas Court Allows Clinic’s ERISA Suit Against NFL to Stand

On March 27, 2018, a Texas court partially granted and partially denied a four-time amended complaint in a suit filed by medical clinic, Advanced Physicians SC (AP), against Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Healthcare Management Inc., Connecticut General life Insurance Company, Great-West Healthcare-Cigna, and the NFL Player Insurance Plan. From the lawsuit, AP sought compensation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, ERISA, for unpaid, but allegedly legitimate, claims for previous medical care rendered to retired NFL players and their families. According to…
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College Athlete Compensation Suit Moved to Trial

On March 28, 2018, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled the 2015 O’Bannon decision did not bar the recent NCAA antitrust lawsuit. As previously covered, a class of college athletes are attempting to obtain a judgement that would lift the cap on college athlete’s compensation. In their lawsuit, the college athletes argued that the NCAA violated federal antitrust law by conspiring to impose an artificial ceiling on the scholarships and benefits that college athletes may receive as payment for their athletic services, which arguably have…
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Former Chicago Bear Sues NFL for Damages from Concussions

On March 27, 2018, former Chicago Bear Craig Steltz filed a lawsuit against the NFL in Louisiana federal court. In the lawsuit, Steltz requested financial compensation for the chronic injuries, expenses, and intangible losses suffered as a result of the NFL’s “intentional tortious misconduct, including fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and negligence.” Steltz claimed that he suffers from the pathological and debilitating effects of mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI) caused by the repeated concussive and sub-concussive impacts that he experienced while playing in the NFL. Steltz, a…
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New England Patriots Defensive End Sues Over NCAA Injury Insurance Policy

On March 9, 2018, Deatrich Wise Jr., a defensive end for the New England Patriots, filed a lawsuit against The Professional Athlete’s Insurance Group, PLLC (PAIG), agent Matthew Allen, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, and International Specialty Insurance, Inc. (ISI). In the lawsuit, Wise alleged that the defendants misrepresented and failed to tender insurance benefits to Wise under the NCAA “loss of value” insurance policy. Wise is a former NCAA football player. He was designated as an “exceptional student-athlete” prior to the start…
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Reebok-CCM Settles Royalties Lawsuit

On March 2, 2018, the lawsuit between Reebok-CCM Hockey (CCM) and Hefter Impact Technologies, LLC was dismissed after the two parties reached a confidential settlement. Back in September 2015, Hefter sued CCM alleging that CCM contractually owed royalties on hockey helmets that were derivative of a Hefter design. The recent settlement came before the scheduled April 17, 2018 trial. Although the case never made it to trail, it did not gone without its fair share of litigation. For example, as we previously covered back in…
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Federal Judges Turn to Indiana State Court in DraftKings and FanDuel Lawsuit

On March 7, 2018, two Seventh Circuit judges, Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner, certified the following question to the Supreme Court of Indiana, “Whether online fantasy‐sports operators that condition entry on payment, and distribute cash prizes, need the consent of players whose names, pictures, and statistics are used in the contests, in advertising the contests, or both.” As we have previously reported, in May 2017, a group of 3,000 college-athletes, led by former Northern Illinois University football players Akeem Daniels and…
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Cubs Dropped From Foul Ball Suit, If Only Temporarily

As we previously reported, a Cubs fan was struck in the face by a foul ball during an August 2017 game at Wrigley Field, where he brought his children to watch from the first base line. The injury left John “Jay” Loos blind in one eye and his other eye vulnerable to the same. He filed suit against both the MLB and the Cubs in October, alleging negligence by both parties, specifically, for failing to install a net which would have otherwise shielded him…
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Colombia Law School Holds Conference on NFL Concussion Lawsuit’s Uncapped Settlement Fund

On March 2, 2018, at a conference on class action jurisprudence held at Columbia Law School, advocates and opponents discussed U.S. District Judge Anita Brody’s decision to move the NFL concussion class-action litigation toward an uncapped settlement. Judge Brody, a Columbia Law graduate, attended the conference. As previously reported, in April 2015, the NFL entered into a settlement agreement with almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped monetary fund for players who could prove certain neurological diagnoses. The settlement provided a…
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Sanctions and Legal Fees Recommended for Plaintiffs’ Attorney in WWE Suit

On February 22, 2018, a federal judge ruled on a motion for sanctions filed by defendant World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE), against Konstantine Kyros, the attorney representing former WWE wrestlers, plaintiffs Evan Singleton and Vito LoGrasso, in their concussion suit. WWE’s motion sought sanctions against Kyros for failing to sufficiently respond to WWE’s interrogatories. The recommended ruling stated that plaintiffs’ counsel was served with interrogatories on January 27, 2016, and that when the parties met on March 7, 2016, the responses were still found to…
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