Category Archives: MLB

Family of Deceased MLB Player Blames Tobacco Company for Player’s Death

On May 23, 2016, the wife and children of former MLB player Tony Gwynn brought a wrongful death suit against a tobacco company for manipulating Gwynn into an addiction that eventually took his life. The lawsuit was filed in a California court against Altria Group, Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris USA and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company. The complaint alleges that the company got the baseball hall of famer addicted to smokeless tobacco and used him and his addiction as a promotional agent for…

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Judge Gives Final Approval of $200 Million MLB Settlement

On April 25, 2016, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin gave her final approval of the settlement resolving the antitrust claims against MLB. The settlement, which is worth $200 million, lowers the price MLB fans pay to watch games online. The suit began in 2012 when fans brought a class action lawsuit against MLB claiming its territorial blackout policies and policy to sell only league wide game packages violated antitrust laws. The fans complained that the policies prevented them from buying access to watch only the…

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MLB Anti-Trust Settlement Hits Snag with Objector

Back in 2012, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Major League Baseball and some of its broadcast partners, including Comcast and DirecTV, alleging that the high prices for “out of market” games and the blackouts of local “in market” telecasts constituted violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The suit accused the defendants of protecting exclusive territories that had been carved out for live-game video presentation using “anticompetitive blackouts.” However, recently it seemed that the lawsuit was coming to an end, with Forbes reporting that the…

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MLB Wins Partial Dismissal in Stadium Netting Suit

MLB partially won its motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit over stadium netting. A California federal judge recently ruled that the court lacked authority over the claims against out-of-state MLB teams. The lawsuit arose in July 2015, when named plaintiff Gail Payne brought suit against all 30 MLB teams and Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred. The complaint alleged that MLB failed to protect fans with proper safety netting. Payne, a longtime season ticket holder of the Oakland A’s, claimed she once had to…

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Florida Judge Voluntarily Resigns Amidst Ethics Investigation

On Thursday, March 10, 2016, Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in state court, determining Judge John F. Lakin had formally resigned from the bench as of the previous Monday. Judge Lakin had come under fire from the Commission, which investigates and prosecutes ethical violations of state judiciary members, in the latter half of 2015 after it had been revealed he had not only accepted, but also requested, tickets to Tampa Bay Rays baseball games from a law firm contemporaneously arguing…

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“You’re Out” — Yanks Pitcher Suspended 30 Games

On Tuesday March 1, 2016, Major League Baseball announced it had suspended New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman for the first 30 games of the upcoming season. Spawning from an October domestic violence incident in which Chapman allegedly choked his girlfriend and illegally fired gunshots in his garage, the suspension comes as the first under the League’s new domestic violence policy. Chapman, through his attorney, also released a statement on Tuesday, saying he would not be appealing the suspension; although, he refused to…

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Judge Rules Baseball Game Reports Must be Turned Over

On Friday, January 29, 2016, California District Judge Joseph Spero ordered Major League Baseball to disclose game reports in minor leaguers’ proposed class action suit. The players have alleged that the MLB conspired with its 30 member teams to suppress the wages they earned. The players sought access to the game reports to show the MLB did not keep formal time records of when they worked. In response, the league argued the game reports would not be able to prove anything and therefore had no…

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Judge OKs MLB Antitrust Settlement

On Monday, January 25, 2016, a federal judge gave her approval of a settlement agreement between the MLB and sports fans over territorial blackouts and high prices for out-of-market sports packages. The suit began four years ago when a group of sports fans sued the MLB, the National Hockey League (NHL), individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV. According to the fans, the defendants agreed in the early 1980s to divide up the country into geographic territories so that only one or a few teams could broadcast…

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Businessman Alleges Major Leaguer Paid Human Smugglers

Gilberto Suarez — a South Florida businessman who finances the transition of foreign baseball plays to Major League Baseball  in exchange for a portion of their contract — filed suit in a Florida federal court on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 alleging that his client breached a contract and instead paid human smugglers. According to the complaint, Suarez made an arrangement with Miguel Alfredo Gonzales, a newly-defected Cuban prospect, who was in need of a sponsor. Suarez claims he agreed to pay Gonzalez’s expenses in exchange…

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