Category Archives: Litigation

WWE Alleges Attorney Improperly Solicited Wrestlers in Royalty Suit

On October 27, 2017, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) accused attorney Matthew Peterson of soliciting former wrestlers to join a royalty suit against WWE. WWE requested the court compel Peterson to provide documents and testimony that were previously denied under claims of privilege and improper instructions not to answer questions during the deposition. Specifically, WWE seeks a March 2016 email from Peterson to plaintiff Scott “Raven” Levy, and the same plaintiff to testify about a meeting with co-plaintiff Marcus “Buff” Bagwell. The lawsuits filed by…

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Football Helmet Maker Fends Off Another Concussion-Related Lawsuit

The country’s largest helmet manufacturer, Riddell, filed a motion to dismiss on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, in a suit brought by a class of former high school football players in August. The players allege Riddell’s negligence, failure to warn, and design defects caused the athletes’ current long-term brain and neurocognitive injuries. Riddell argues the players’ design defects claim is contradicted by their complaint that also cites a 2002 product label that warned “[c]ontact in football may result in concussion-brain injury which no helmet can prevent.”…

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Hernandez’s Daughter Adds Helmet Maker in Refiled CTE Suit

On October 16, 2017, Aaron Hernandez’s daughter, Avielle Hernandez, filed suit in Massachusetts state court against the NFL and helmet maker Riddell Inc. for Hernandez’s post-death diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This suit was filed a few days after Avielle’s lawyers withdrew her suit in federal court against the NFL and the New England Patriots. However, the New England Patriots were left out of the Massachusetts state court suit. Avielle’s attorney stated that a separate action involving the Patriots will be filed at a…

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Golf Caddies Ask for Mulligan in Suit Over PGA Tour Bib-Ads

On October 12, 2017, golf caddies urged the Ninth Circuit to revive their proposed antitrust class action against PGA Tour Inc. for allegedly exploiting them as walking advertisements. The golf caddies claimed the lower court erred by using evidence outside of their complaint to interpret the contracts and that they had no chance to respond to the court’s arguments. In their original lawsuit filed by over 80 caddies in February 2015, the caddies alleged that PGA Tour earns $50 million a year from a policy…

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Pennsylvania High School Students’ Concussion Class Action Allowed to Proceed

On October 10, 2017, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court affirmed the overruling of preliminary objections to the plaintiffs’ complaint in a 70-page opinion, and allowed a concussion lawsuit filed by high school student-athletes to proceed. Three students, individually and on behalf of a class, have filed a negligence suit against the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) relating to concussion-related injuries sustained during participation in PIAA-regulated sports. The Commonwealth Court permitted an interlocutory appeal of the trial court’s ruling, and affirmed the lower court for the reasons…

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Will Showtime Take a Blow for Streaming Issues in Highly-Anticipated Mayweather-McGregor Fight?

In August, Showtime aired the highly-anticipated fight of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. Customers had to pay $99.95 to live stream the event. However, some angry customers filed class actions against Showtime, NeuLion, Zuffa, Zuffa owner William Morris, and Endeavor Entertainment LLC alleging that the live streams did not live up to expectations. The cases are spread out through districts in New York, Nevada, California, and Oregon. Customers are upset because highly-anticipated live stream was disrupted because of pay-per-view issues. Specifically, customers allege that “as…

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Northwestern Bricks its Shot for Motion to Strike in Johnnie Vassar Suit

On Friday, September 29, 2017, an Illinois federal judge denied the motion Northwestern University (NU) had filed at the end of January to strike portions of a former basketball player’s complaint that mentioned settlement negotiations. “Clearly, the purpose of this allegation is not to show liability by referencing a settlement agreement but rather to allege Northwestern’s bad act in making a misrepresentation to Vassar,” the judge’s order stated.  The complaint alleged that NU offered a “cash payment” to “make Johnnie go away and free-up…

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DraftKings and FanDuel Dodge Former College Athletes’ Likeness Suit

On September 29, 2017, an Indiana federal judge threw out a proposed class action brought by college athletes against DraftKings and FanDuel for allegedly profiting off the use of their names, images, and likenesses. The judge ruled that the college athletes’ claims were barred by exemptions to Indiana’s right-of-publicity law. The case was originally brought in Indiana state court by former Northern Illinois University football players Akeem Daniels and Cameron Stingily, and former Indiana University football player Nicholas Stoner on behalf of about 3,000 former…

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WWE Might Come Out on Top in Wrestling Brain Injury Suits

Back in 2015, more than 50 former wrestlers and performers filed suit against the WEE, alleging that it hid the risk of brain trauma and failed to offer wrestlers necessary medical attention and support. The suit alleged that the former wrestlers suffer from long-term brain damage and the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, the Alzheimer’s-like neurodegenerative disease related to repeated hits to the head. The wrestler’s claimed that the WWE knew about the potential for brain injury, and was not only negligent…

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Erin Henderson Tackles the NY Jets with Wrongful Termination Suit

Erin Henderson, former New York Jets linebacker, sued the Jets on Friday, September 29, 2017, alleging the team wrongfully terminated his employment because of his bipolar disorder. He is seeking punitive damages along with $3.3 million in compensatory damages — the amount of his unpaid 2016 salary plus his non-guaranteed 2017 salary. Henderson alleges the Jets placed him on the non-football injury (NFI) list on Oct. 22 without saying why, leading other teams to shy away from signing him, thinking it was related to previous…

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