Breaking The Bank: Plaintiff Attorneys In NCAA Class Action Lawsuit Awarded $46 Million In Fees

On Monday, a judge ordered that the NCAA pay plaintiffs’ attorneys’ in a class action suit initiated in 2009. The suit was brought by Ed O’Bannon and 19 others, and the payment will total $44.4 million in fees plus $1.5 million in costs.

In arguing against the award, the NCAA’s attorneys likened the situation to the book “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, claiming this was “a tale of two lawsuits,” as the lawsuit underwent significant changes in 2012.

In response to the attorneys’ literary reference, Nathanael Cousins, the Federal magistrate judge who issued the order, said the following:

Perhaps a more apt allusion would have been to George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, where individuals with seemingly long odds overcome unthinkable challenges, but suffer stark losses along the path to victory… In Martin’s world, ‘When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.’

The lawsuit alleged that the NCAA had violated antitrust laws by prohibiting athletes from obtaining a share of revenues generated by the use of their images in television broadcasts and video games. The NCAA may still appeal the cases to the United States Supreme Court.

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