Federal Judges Turn to Indiana State Court in DraftKings and FanDuel Lawsuit

On March 7, 2018, two Seventh Circuit judges, Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner, certified the following question to the Supreme Court of Indiana, “Whether online fantasy‐sports operators that condition entry on payment, and distribute cash prizes, need the consent of players whose names, pictures, and statistics are used in the contests, in advertising the contests, or both.” As we have previously reported, in May 2017, a group of 3,000 college-athletes, led by former Northern Illinois University football players Akeem Daniels and…
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DraftKings and FanDuel Once Again Fight Back Against Lawsuit in Indiana

On January 16, 2017, FanDuel, Inc. and DraftKings, Inc. once again argued their websites do not violate Indiana’s right of publicity statute. As we have previously covered in May 2017, a group of 3,000 college athletes, led by former Northern Illinois University football players Akeem Daniels and Cameron Stingily, and former Indiana University football player Nicholas Stoner, bought a suit against DraftKings and FanDuel. The suit alleged that FanDuel and DraftKings were profiting from the use of the students athletes names, images, likenesses, and…
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DraftKings and FanDuel Dodge Former College Athletes’ Likeness Suit

On September 29, 2017, an Indiana federal judge threw out a proposed class action brought by college athletes against DraftKings and FanDuel for allegedly profiting off the use of their names, images, and likenesses. The judge ruled that the college athletes’ claims were barred by exemptions to Indiana’s right-of-publicity law. The case was originally brought in Indiana state court by former Northern Illinois University football players Akeem Daniels and Cameron Stingily, and former Indiana University football player Nicholas Stoner on behalf of about 3,000 former…
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Another Tackle for the NCAA: Ex-MSU Football Player Brings Concussion Lawsuit

The NCAA has been tackling concussion litigation for years, and on Friday, September 30, 2016, an ex-Missouri State University football player brought another concussion lawsuit to add to the NCAA’s defense list. Richard Walker, who played football for MSU from 1976-79, suffered four traumatic brain injuries and about a dozen blackouts during his time as a student athlete. Walker filed this lawsuit in an Indiana federal court, alleging that the defendants, which include the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and the NCAA, knew of and concealed…
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FanDuel Argues First Amendment Protects Use of NCAA Players’ Names and Likenesses

On Tuesday, June 26, 2016, FanDuel asked an Indiana federal court to dismiss it from a putative class action accusing daily fantasy sports operators of profiting off the unauthorized use of former NCAA athletes’ names and likenesses. It contended that its use of the names and likenesses was protected by the First Amendment. FanDuel has had trouble with using the NCAA as a portion of its daily fantasy sports platform before, as back in March it had to reach a deal with the NCAA agreeing…
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Another Concussion Related Headache for NCAA and SEC

Yet another former football player has been added to the long list of former students suing the NCAA for its alleged negligent treatment of concussions. On June 8, 2016, Orenthal James Owens, a defensive back for the Tennessee Volunteers (2000-2003), filed an action in Indiana federal court claiming that the NCAA and SEC exposed him to the debilitating effects of concussions by turning a blind eye. During his time with the Volunteers, Owens remembers blacking out and suffering from memory loss following repeated blows…
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Class Action Suit From College Athletes Against Fantasy Sports Continues in Federal Court

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, former NCAA athletes moved their lawsuit against major fantasy sports sites FanDuel and Draftkings to Indiana federal court. The lawsuit was initiated earlier this month when a group of former athletes sued FanDuel and Draftkings over the unauthorized use of the players’ names and likeness for fantasy sports betting. The class action alleges that the fantasy sports sites used the players’ names and likenesses to promote fantasy college sports contests for which they charged fees and generated about $3 billion.…
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Indiana Bill to Legalize Daily Fantasy Sports Passes in State Senate

A bill to expressly legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Indiana was passed by the state Senate on February 3, 2016. The bill was passed with ease, and it will now move before the Indiana House of Representatives, where it must survive another voting round before becoming official law. The Indiana bill follows an alleged September 2015 insider trading scandal between DFS industry leaders DraftKings, Inc. and FanDuel, Inc. The scandal sparked a national debate questioning the legality of online DFS betting. Under the definitions…
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Indiana High Court Rules State is Not Contractually Obligated to Indemnify Company in Concert Stage Collapse

During the Indiana state fair in 2011, seven people were killed and dozens were injured when the stage collapsed during a concert. In litigation that followed, the company that provided stage rigging took the position that the Indiana State Fair Commission was contractually obligated to indemnify the company for the company’s own negligence. The issue went to the trial court, the intermediate court, and now the high court, which recently ruled unanimously that the Commission is not required to indemnify the company. The company argued…
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Former Quarterback Seeks Additional Docs to Support Class Certification Against NCAA

John Rock, former Gardner-Webb University quarterback, has urged the NCAA to turn over information that he believes will help establish class certification. Rock initiated an antitrust suit against the NCAA back in 2012, alleging that the organization’s “artificial” scholarship cap and former prohibition on multi-year athletic-based scholarships represented illegal restraints on trade. The suit was later dismissed in 2013, based on the Indiana District Court’s finding that the plaintiff failed to identify a “cognizable market” that suffered from the “anti-competitive” effects of the NCAA’s regulations.…
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