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…
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Bankruptcy Judge Recommends NHL Not Recoup Fees From Coyotes Purchase

On Wednesday, January 21, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge recommended that the NHL not be allowed to collect the majority of the $145.9 million it claims from ex-Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes. The lawsuit stems from the NHL’s 2009 purchase of its member team, then named the Phoenix Coyotes.  The Coyotes were first purchased in 2006 by Jerry Moyes who realized after two years of operating at a $50 million loss  that he could not afford the team.  Moyes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy…
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Yet Another Concussion Suit Against WWE

It has been just over two months since a concussion suit against the WWE was filed last October.  Former World Wrestling Entertainment(“WWE”) wrestlers Vito LoGrasso, a.k.a. Big Vito and Skull Von Krush, and Evan Singleton, a.k.a. Adam Mercer, filed a suit against WWE, alleging WWE ignored signs of brain damages and other injuries while it focused on promoting violence for its business. The court filing said, “Under the guise of providing entertainment, the WWE has, for decades, subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality…
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Beastie Boys Want to Avoid Pyrrhic Victory, Ask For $2.4 Million from Monster

Over the weekend, the Beastie Boys filed with the SDNY, seeking $2.4 million in legal fees from Monster Energy to pay for their recent copyright infringement litigation. In June, the world-renowned rap group won $1.7 million in a lawsuit against Monster Energy.  The Beasties claimed, and Monster admitted during trial, that the energy drink producer used five of their songs without authorization in an online marketing video.  The $1.7 million awarded, however, is not enough to cover the extensive legal fees that the band accumulated…
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Cubs Accused of Bullying Rooftop Club Owners

On Thursday, January 8, several rooftop club owners adjacent to the historic Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs, filed another lawsuit against the city of Chicago to block proposed renovations to the stadium. Last July, the Chicago Cubs gained approval of renovations costing $375 million from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to add seven new signs to the ball park’s outfield.  The Cubs then altered the placement and shape of the signs and received approval yet again.  This lawsuit, brought by the rooftop club…
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Electronic Arts Cannot Escape ex-NFL Players’ Lawsuit

On Tuesday, January 6, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Electronic Arts’ motion seeking dismissal of a lawsuit brought by ex-NFL players who claim EA used their likenesses without permission in ‘Madden NFL’ videogames. The lawsuit, initiated in April of 2012, is very similar to the lawsuit against Electronic Arts brought by former NCAA players for EA’s unlicensed use of their likenesses in sports videogames.  This time, it is ex-NFL players bringing the lawsuit for the use of their likenesses in the ‘Madden…
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49ers Hit with Age Discrimination Suit by Former Managers

Former 49ers employees, Anthony Lozano and Keith Yanagi, filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that owner Jed York fired them as well as “a lot” of other older employees in an attempt to rebrand the team as a “startup” before its move to the new stadium in Silicon Valley. According to the court documents, York replaced those older employees with younger workers from tech companies in Santa Clara because they “made a lot of money, they did a lot of cool things before they…
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Not Enough Evidence to Charge Winston in Rape Accusation

Florida State University Quarterback, Jameis Winston, will not face any discipline from Florida State University stemming from the 2012 rape accusation brought against him after he was cleared of any conduct code violations. Winston was subject to a two day investigative hearing, ending on December 3rd, presided over by Justice Major Harding.  In his decision, Harding wrote “the evidence must show that it is more probable than not that you are responsible for the charged violations.  After a thorough review, the evidence before…
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NFL Painkiller Suit Denied

On Wednesday, December 17, Judge Alsup, for the US District court for the Northern District of California, dismissed a complaint brought by ten ex-NFL players back in May, that claimed the NFL was negligent in failing to oversee individual teams’ painkiller policies. The class action lawsuit, led by former Chicago Bears’ defensive end Richard Dent, stems from team doctors and trainers liberally administering prescription painkillers, anti-inflammatories, opioids, and local anesthetics to keep players on the field during injuries.   The players brought the claim to…
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NFL Players Association Sues NFL over Adrian Peterson’s Suspension

Following the arbitrator’s decision on Friday that upheld Adrian Peterson’s suspension by the league, the NFL Players Association (“NFLPA”) filed a suit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. According to the filing, the NFLPA claimed that arbitrator Harold Henderson was prejudiced and unfair in affirming the suspension.  The NFLPA argued Henderson’s former executive position at and financial ties to the NFL make him biased.  Moreover, it further claimed that the decision ignored due process and followed the NFL’s new policy, which was implemented without collective…
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