Sports Litigation Case Law Update March 2015 Part 1 of 2

In this month’s sports litigation case law update, we travel to a soccer stadium in Texas, a softball field in Illinois, a hockey locker room in upstate New York, and then back to Texas to a youth baseball field.  We start, however, with the best sports-related quote in a judicial opinion this past month, which comes from the Court of Appeals of North Carolina which stated “we conclude that the purported conflict described in [defendant’s counsel’s] motion to disqualify looks less like a conflict of…
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Punches After the Bell

No “Silva” Lining for Diaz as Both Fail Drug Tests: The return of UFC mainstay Anderson (The Spider) Silva took an unfortunate turn following his January 31, 2015 decision victory over Nick Diaz when it was revealed that he tested positive for Drostanolone and Androstane metabolites in a pre-fight drug test.  Unfortunately for Diaz, the positive test will likely be of little benefit to him, as he himself tested positive for marijuana following a post-fight examination.  The double positive, following an exceptionally high profile…
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Thumb’s Down on Set of Cancelled CBS Show ‘Vegas’

On Thursday December 18,  a lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County against two crane companies for injuries arising from an accident on the set of former CBS show ‘Vegas’ last year. Plaintiff Andrea Krout was working as crane dolly grip on the set of the now canceled ‘Vegas,’ starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, when her hand was pulled into the belt and pulley drive, crushing and almost severing her left thumb on January 8, 2013.  Krout was rushed to the hospital where she…
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University of California Sued for Wrongful Death of Football Player Ted Agu

On Tuesday, August 5, the family of former University of California football player, Ted Agu, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university claiming negligence in the Agu’s sudden death earlier this year. After offseason training drills in February, Ted Agu was taken by University of California medical staff to Alta Bates Medical Center as he exhibited signs of extreme fatigue.  There, Agu was pronounced dead.  The coroner’s report released in April stated hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as the cause of death.  His family and attorneys, however,…
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California Jury Tells Dodgers: Make the Ball Park Safer

A California jury awarded about $18 million in damages for Bryan Stow who was left permanently disabled after beaten by two men at the Dodgers stadium parking lot in 2011.  Of the total judgment, the Dodgers share would be about $15 million while The Los Angeles Times reported the number to be $13.9 million.  The jury determined the baseball team was 100% liable for Stow’s economic losses including lost wages and medical bills but 25% liable for pain and suffering. The Dodgers attorneys argued that…
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Junior Seau’s Family Displeased with Proposed Settlement in NFL Concussion Case

Fighting recently broke out amongst plaintiff’s attorneys attempting to settle the massive multi-district concussion litigation against the NFL after the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, nixed a $760 million dollar settlement deal proposal.  Judge Brody’s concerns were that the lump sum would be inadequate to fund what could potentially involve 20,000 claims by a variety of NFL alumni over a period of 65 years.  Now, the family of the deceased NFL star Junior Seau is voicing their own objections to the proposed deal.…
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Former Lions Running Back Latest to Sue NFL Over Concussions

Jahvid Best was a first-round draft pick for the Detroit Lions in 2010.  Only three years later, the team released Best due to health complications the running back suffered as a result of incurring multiple concussions on the playing field.  Best is now the latest NFL alum to join a long list of others in suing the league for intentionally downplaying the long-term risks of concussions and their role in later-life cognitive decline. Best’s suit names the NFL, as well as helmet-manufacturers Riddell and Easton-Bell…
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Delay of Game: Slow Progress on Settlement in NFL Concussion Litigation

By late last year the giant NFL concussion lawsuit – a case where several thousand former NFL players are suing the league for intentionally downplaying the risks of concussions and related head injuries – looked to be drawing to an early end.  Now, one week after U.S. District Judge Anita Brody rejected a motion for preliminary approval of a proposed $765 million settlement to end the ongoing multi-district concussion litigation against the NFL, renewed settlement talks amongst attorneys for the 4,500+ NFL alumni are becoming…
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Missouri Law Could Spell Trouble for NFL’s Chiefs in New Concussion Lawsuit

The NFL and over 4,500 former players are currently attempting to negotiate a settlement in the massive multi-district concussion litigation against the league.  In brief, the plaintiffs’ accuse the NFL of intentionally downplaying and concealing the risks of concussions and the role of head injuries in later-life cognitive decline.  Negotiations to resolve the matter recently resumed after U.S. District Judge Anita Brody rejected a proposed $765 million settlement deal that had been reached by the parties.  Judge Brody strongly believed that this amount would be…
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Judges’ Panel Creates New Multi-District Litigation for NCAA Concussion Cases

A panel of federal judges recently ruled that ten class-action lawsuits brought against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) will be consolidated into a single multi-district litigation in Chicago.  In essence, each suit alleges that the NCAA intentionally concealed the long term-risks of concussions sustained by student athletes in a variety of college sports.  The consolidation follows in the wake of the recent $765 million settlement of the NFL’s concussion litigation, a nearly identical action brought against the league by over 4,500 former NFL alumni.…
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