PGA Tour Seeks Early Exit from Caddy Ad Lawsuit

On Friday August 21, PGA Tour Inc. filed a motion to dismiss with federal court, seeking to end the antitrust class-action lawsuit waged against it by a group of tour caddies.

The lawsuit, brought by 80 PGA Tour caddies back in February, stems from the bibs the PGA requires the caddies to wear while walking the tour courses during tournaments.  The bibs contain advertisements of Tour sponsors and the caddies are not compensated for the advertising space they are forced to wear.  The lawsuit alleges the PGA treats caddies as billboards, and the advertising space they carry amounts to $50 million per year.  The PGA determines what the caddies may wear, disallowing the caddies to seek endorsement deals of their own.  The caddies are also seeking punitive damages from the PGA, claiming the tour has acted intentionally and maliciously toward the caddies.

The Tour filed its motion to dismiss this past Friday seeking to end the case prior to  any extensive discovery getting under way.  The tour also filed a motion to protect itself in discovery.  The motion seeks to have exhibits including Tour agreements with individual tournaments to be filed under seal because public disclosure of such would allow competitors to view sensitive information regarding the Tour’s operations.

The motions are set to be argued on October 29.

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