Category Archives: MLB

MLB Fans’ Antitrust Suit Settles on Brink of Trial

Tuesday, January 19, 2016  was supposed to mark the beginning of a trial between sports fans and Major League Baseball (MLB) over territorial blackouts and high prices for sports packages. However, just moments before the trial was to begin, the two sides reached a settlement. 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…

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Sports Litigation and Cases to Keep an Eye on in the New Year (Part I)

2015 was a year full of highly debated controversies in the world of sports litigation. However, the debating isn’t over quite yet as some of the most notorious cases of 2015 will have litigation continuing into the new year. From “Deflategate” to the FIFA corruption scandal, this post is part one of notable sports cases you should be sure to follow in 2016. “Deflategate” Appeal Deflategate was one of the most talked about controversies in sports in 2015, as it involved allegations of the ever-popular…

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MLB, NHL, and NBA on the Hunt for Default Judgment Against Online Counterfeiters

On December 11, 2015, MLB, NHL, and NBA league affiliates filed for a default judgment in an Illinois federal court against online counterfeiters who have failed to respond to the leagues’ pleadings. League affiliates brought suit in October, seeking to prevent unidentified online counterfeiters from continuing to sell products that infringe upon their respective trademarks. Additionally, the leagues claimed $2 million in damages against each defendant retailer for trademarks that have already been infringed upon. The leagues contend that online counterfeiters — believed to be…

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MLB Commissioner Encouraging Ballparks to Extend Netting Amid Class Action

On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred recommended all 30 MLB teams extend safety netting behind home plate to the end of each dugout. Currently, there is a class action lawsuit pending in a California federal court seeking to force the MLB to extend the safety netting from foul pole to foul pole. The MLB was hit with the lawsuit in July by season-ticket holder Gail Payne on behalf of all season ticket holders in currently unprotected areas of MLB…

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Upping the Ante in Fantasy Sports Litigation: NHL, NBA, MLB Added as Defendants in FL Action

Dozens of federal lawsuits have been filed against DraftKings, Inc. and FanDuel, Inc. since the insider trading scandal made news in September 2015.  By way of a substantial amendment to their complaint, the plaintiffs in a Florida action have added numerous additional defendants. This putative class action, known as Gomez v. FanDuel, Inc. et al, was filed in the Southern District Court of Florida on October 15, 2015.  The suit alleges state law negligence claims against DraftKings and FanDuel — the two industry…

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Illinois Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order Against MLB, NHL, and NBA Counterfeiters

On November 6, 2015, U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood filed a temporary restraining order (TRO), prohibiting unidentified online retailers from producing and distributing counterfeit sporting merchandise. The suit, brought in Illinois federal court last month by MLB, NHL, and NBA league affiliates, seeks to prevent the defendant retailers from selling products featuring their logos and claims $2 million in damages for the use of their trademarks. In their suit, the leagues claim that online retailers — believed to be based in China — have…

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Major League Baseball Strikes Back Against Request from Fans for Deposition

On October 19, 2015, Major League Baseball and its co-defendants quickly responded to a letter written by baseball fans to Hon. Judge Scheindlin asking for permission to depose Commissioner Robert Manfred. While the fans in the antitrust lawsuit are seeking to depose the Commissioner in regards to MLB broadening the topics Mr. Manfred is to testify to at trial, the defendants responded with some rather convincing arguments to Judge Scheindlin in opposition. First, MLB argues that the fans should not be able to depose the…

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Fans Write Judge, Seek Commissioner’s Deposition

On October 14, 2015, a letter was written to Hon. Judge Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York asking for the opportunity to depose MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred. The letter, written by counsel representing a class of baseball fans, is in relation to an antitrust class action suit filed in 2012 against Major League Baseball and its broadcasting blackout rules. The fans are challenging the restrictions that MLB and the major cable and satellite companies are able to impose on local television broadcasting for…

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Supreme Court Again Refuses to Hear Case Involving Antitrust Exemption for MLB

The U. S. Supreme Court will not be hearing the latest in a long-line of antitrust suits filed against Major League Baseball, as it was determined Monday that the city of San Jose’s petition for certiorari was denied.  The city had filed the petition in response to a dismissal on appeal in the Ninth Circuit earlier in January of this year. The antitrust lawsuit came about in 2013 after San Jose had unsuccessfully attempted to relocate the Oakland Athletics an hour South along the Californian…

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MLB Moves To Dismiss Safety Net Class Action

On Friday, October 2, 2015, Major League Baseball filed a motion to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging that the MLB has failed to protect fans from foul balls and bats. The lawsuit was filed in July by Oakland Athletics season-ticket holder Gail Payne. Payne is seeking class-action status on behalf of all season ticket holders currently sitting in unprotected areas of MLB ballparks. The suit seeks no monetary compensation, but instead seeks an injunction requiring the MLB to install additional netting. Major League Baseball…

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