Playing Defense: NFL Objects to Fans’ Request for Attorneys’ Fees

On Friday, June 5, the National Football League objected to a request for more than $83,000 in attorneys’ fees from several fans who originally sued the league over claims from Super Bowl XLV.  The fans had originally brought action claiming that they were displaced from seats or had obstructed views at the game in 2011, and they won a $75,850 jury award in March.

The NFL’s main argument against these attorneys’ fees is that the fans ultimately failed in their attempt to certify a class, that their claims against six of the seven defendants were completely dismissed, and that they lost seven of their eight causes of action against the NFL.  Though the fans had originally sought more than $100 million in damages, the jury awarded them just $75,850, a number that was based on solely their breach of contract claims.

Accordingly, the NFL took issue with the fact that the fans requested over $83,000, an amount that exceeds the damages that the jury awarded to them.  Thus, the NFL insisted that, due to the fans’ overall lack of success and their failure to demonstrate that the costs were necessary to the breach of contract claims on which they recovered, the court should either deny or significantly reduce any cost award to the fans.

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