U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Boogaard Opioid Death Lawsuit

On December 3, 2018, the United States Supreme Court refused review of the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of ex-NHL player Derek Boogaard. The lawsuit, had alleged Boogaard suffered a fatal overdose as a direct result of the NHL encouraging violence and concealing information regarding the dangers of head trauma. By way of refresher, Derek Boogaard was known as an “enforcer” on the ice over his six years in the league, fighting 66 times over his 277 regular season career. After passing as…
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Let’s Go Live: NBA Announces Partnership to Distribute Real-Time Odds

On November 28, 2018, the NBA announced that sports data providers Genius Sports and Sportradar will have nonexclusive rights to distribute real-time, official data to licensed sportsbooks in the U.S. This is inclusive of both NBA and WNBA games, including preseason, regular season, and postseason play. This partnership comes on the heels of “live betting” beginning to take off; indeed, at a recent gaming conference in New York, a FanDuel executive noted that in-game betting amounts to approximately 40% of the amount wagered at its…
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Trademark Showdown at Home Plate: Atlanta Braves at Bat against Local Taxi Company

On November 1, 2018, the Atlanta Braves commenced an action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against a local Marietta taxi company and its owner for trademark infringement. The complaint filed by the Atlanta Braves asserts Federal and State causes of action against Braves Taxi sounding in Trademark Infringement, Trademark Dilution, Unfair Competition, and Cyberpiracy. In short, the Atlanta Braves claim that Braves Taxi is using identical and confusingly similar marks to those of the MLB team on its vehicles.…
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Lane Johnson Fights to Keep Lawsuit Alive

On November 19, 2018, Philadelphia Eagles right tackle, Lane Johnson, wrote two letters to Judge Sullivan regarding his lawsuit against the NFL and the NFL Players Association (“NFLPA”). As we have previously reported, in 2016, Johnson was hit with a 10-game drug suspension for his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. In response, Johnson filed a lawsuit against the NFLPA, arguing that the NFLPA’s inactions caused his suspension. Specifically, Johnson sued the NFL and the NFLPA for allegedly failing to follow the collective bargaining…
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Judge Denies Reviving Patriots’ “Deflategate” Suit

The Massachusetts Appeals Court denied to revive the so-called “Deflategate” suit brought by a proposed class of New England Patriots fans, seeking damages and injunctive relief against the National Football League, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft. The suit stems from the highly controversial accusations against Tom Brady for his alleged role in the scheme to deflate footballs below the PSI range defined by league rules. Commissioner Goodell fined the Patriots $1 million, suspended Brady for four games, and took away…
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Major Sports Leagues Cover the Spread, Win Sports Betting Spinoff Lawsuit

On November 16, 2018, Judge Shipp found in favor of the major sports leagues in a claim for damages under an injunction bond. Previously, the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) had sought $3.4 million, plus interest and damages, from the NFL, NCAA, NBA, NHL, and MLB.  NJTHA claimed that, as a result of Judge Shipp’s 2014 injunction halting NJTHA and Monmouth Park from accepting sports bets, NJTHA suffered damages in excess of $10 million.  In response, lawyers for the leagues described the claim…
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Draftkings and Fanduel: “No Doubt” Right of Publicity Lawsuit Should be Dismissed

As we have previously reported, former NCAA football players, Akeem Daniels, Cameron Stingily, and Nicholas Stoner recently filed a lawsuit against Draftkings, Inc. and Fanduel, Inc. In their lawsuit, the former NCAA players allege that Draftkings and Fanduel violated an Indiana state right-of-publicity statute when they used the former players names, images, likenesses, and statistics in online fantasy sports contests. After the case was dismissed in United States District Court, it was appealed to the Seventh Circuit. A Seventh Circuit appellate panel certified the…
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Pirates Settle in Foul-Ball Suit, with Net Installer as Final Defendant

The Pittsburgh Pirates have reached a confidential settlement with a woman struck by a foul ball at the Pirates’ PNC Park. Now, a jury trial will go forth under a new state court judge to determine the liability of the installer behind the allegedly defective safety net behind home plate. As we have previously reported, the suit arises from an incident that occurred in April of 2015, when a foul ball hit the netting behind home plate, and the netting deflected or stretched far…
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Picture Imperfect: Polaris Brings Suit Against Fox Affiliate Over Photo Usage of Aaron Hernandez’s Fiancée

On November 14, 2018, Polaris Images Corp. filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Fox affiliate Tribune Broadcasting Co. Per the complaint, a Tribune-owned website published a story regarding the late NFL player Aaron Hernandez’s pregnant former fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, and used a photograph of Jenkins therein. According to the article, entitled “Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée Shayanna Jenkins announces pregnancy,” the caption beneath the photograph in question credits “Shayanna Jenkins Instagram.”  However, Polaris claims “Tribute did not license the photograph from plaintiff for its article,…
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NCAA: Fans “Overwhelmingly Oppose” Paying Student-Athletes

On November 9, 2018, in their closing argument and brief, the NCAA defended its rules, restricting payments for student-athletes, arguing that NCAA fans value amateurism and “overwhelmingly oppose” paying student-athletes. The NCAA argued that the rules restricting student-athlete pay ensured that student-athletes were integrated into college campuses and, at the same time, promoting amateurism, which increases the demand for college sports. According to the NCAA, if the student-athletes were paid, fans would stop watching NCAA sports. As we have continued to cover, the…
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