FTC Seeks Injunction on FanDuel and DraftKings Merger

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the attorney generals for California and the District of Columbia will file a complaint to prevent the merger of FanDuel and DraftKings while the FTC is reviewing the merger process. FanDuel and DraftKings make up 95 percent of the daily fantasy sports market. The FTC argues the merger would “deprive customers of the substantial benefits of direct competition.” The companies announced the merger in November 2016, in large part to cut their legal bills. At the time, the…
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Are EA’s Visual Representations in Madden Generic Enough to Avoid Liability in Publicity Claim?

In 2010 Michael Davis and other former NFL players filed suit in California, alleging that video game maker Electronic Arts (EA) violated their rights of publicity when it used famous teams from the past in Madden games from 2001 until 2009. In their complaint, the retired players argued that while EA obtained permission from current players to use their names and likeness, the company failed to do so with the retired players. While the former players did not allege that their names actually appeared in…
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NFL Painkiller Lawsuit Dismissed

California Federal District Court Judge William Alsup dismissed in part a class-action lawsuit filed by former NFL players who alleged teams forced players to ingest painkillers in order to keep them on the field regardless of the health risks posed and the potential long-term consequences. The complaint, filed against all 32 teams of the NFL, stated the teams’ main goal was to mask pain and conceal injuries. In July 2016, Judge Alsup refused to dismiss the lawsuit, despite the NFL’s protestations that the claims were…
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Can a Baseball Fan Argue Fear is Sufficient Injury in Class Action?

On July 11, 2013, Gail Payne filed a class-action lawsuit against Major League Baseball (MLB) in the Federal District Court in Northern California. Payne claimed the MLB did not do enough to “protect fans from fast-moving balls and splintered bats.” Payne and the class members were seeking injunctive relief: to create better protections to MLB fans by adding more netting to stop foul balls and broken bats along the first and third-base lines. The lawsuit referenced a study by Bloomberg News in 2014, which reported…
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Lawyers Request Their Cut of Reebok Antitrust Settlement

NFL apparel customers in a class action suit against Reebok, Inc. were awarded a $4.75 million settlement for their claims that Reebok’s exclusive licensing deal with the NFL violated antitrust laws. Now, the lawyers representing the class of plaintiffs in the case would like their cut.  On July 18, attorneys from The Katriel Law Firm PC and Krause Kalfayan Benink & Slavens LLP petitioned a federal judge in California for $1.52 million in attorney’s fees for their work, in addition to reimbursement for over $847,000…
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NFL Painkiller Case Allowed to Proceed

On Friday, July 1, 2016, a lawsuit brought by former National Football League players against all 32 NFL teams regarding reckless distribution of painkillers was allowed to proceed by Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California. Judge Alsup had denied a similar case in 2014 on grounds of preemption by the collective bargaining agreement, but allowed this case to continue to the discovery phase of litigation because each team is named individually as a defendant as opposed to the NFL as a whole.…
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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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Don’t Wear it Out: Settlement in Lawsuit Against Nike Over the Allegedly Improper Use of the Name “Lights Out”

After nearly two years, a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman against Nike has settled, according to documents filed in California federal court on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The lawsuit was sparked by Nike’s use of the term “Lights Out” for one of its lines of athletic apparel. Merriman was given the nickname “Lights Out” while in high school, and upon entering college, began selling T-shirts with a “Lights Out” logo to help pay for his schooling. Prior to the settlement, Merriman…
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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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NFL Sunday Ticket Litigation: Fans Want the Suit Back in State Court

On Friday, January 29, 2016, plaintiffs involved in a suit over Direct TV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package urged a California federal court to remand the case, which alleges violations of California law, back to state court. The putative class action was initially filed by Robert Gary Lippincott Jr. in Sonoma County Superior Court back in October. Lippincott’s complaint alleged that contracts for Direct TV’s Sunday Ticket Package are void under California law as illegal contracts including “unconscionable provisions.” Specifically, Lippincott brought claims for unconscionability in…
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