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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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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Baseball Net Installer Calls Foul, Alleging Judge’s Improper Communication

Promats Athletics LLC, the company that installed the safety net at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, filed a motion requesting a new state judge preside over the upcoming case of a women hit by a foul ball. The company contends that the judge currently assigned has conducted improper communications with the plaintiff’s attorney and is thus subject to removal from the case. 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…
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NCAA Considering More Changes to Transfer Rules

On October 5, 2018, the NCAA Division I Council announced that it plans, in 2019, to vote on four changes to transfer proposals. As we previously reported, in June 2018, the NCAA and various conferences voted to change student-athletes transfer rules. Previously, student-athletes went through a “permission to contact” process. The process limited their ability to transfer as their current college coaches were able to block the athlete from transferring to certain schools. Now, starting in October 2018, the NCAA has shifted to a…
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Nothing But Net: Pittsburgh Pirates’ Net Installer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied

On October 9, 2018, Judge Michael Della Vecchia denied Promats Athletics LLC’s motion for summary judgment seeking removal from a foul ball injury lawsuit. Back in 2015, spectator Wendy Camlin suffered injuries as a result of being struck in the head by a foul ball that deflected from the netting. Accordingly, when she filed suit against Major League Baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the city and county entity that built the stadium, the Pirates joined Promats to the suit, alleging Promats recommended and installed…
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DOJ Investigating MLB’s Recruitment of Foreign Players

On October 2, 2018, Sports Illustrated published a report stating that the United States Department of Justice “has begun a sweeping probe into possible corruption tied to [MLB’s] recruitment of international players.” The report published numerous emails, documents, videotapes, photographs, confidential legal briefs, receipts, copies of player visas and passport documents, internal club emails, and private communications by franchise executives. Reportedly, MLB teams, like the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, have attempted to circumvent MLB rules and United States immigration law in their…
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Women Drops Claims Against MLB in Foul Ball Suit

On August 24, 2018, Wendy Camlin, a woman suing MLB, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Sports and Exhibition Authority and Allegheny Country, agreed to drop all of her claims against MLB. Back in April 20, 2015 Camlin attended a baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburg Pirates, when a foul struck Camlin in the head. Camlin seat for the April 20, 2015 game was immediately behind home plate, in Row A, and there was a net…
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Cubs Fan Files Copyright Suit against the Team over Souvenir Design

On Friday, August 17th, a retired Michigan advertiser filed suit against the Chicago Cubs, alleging that the Cubs stole his design for 1984 souvenirs and reused the design for 2017 souvenirs without his permission or compensation. Dan Fox was a Chicago advertising executive in 1984, when he contracted with the Cubs to create a souvenir for the team’s divisional championship: a clear acrylic block encasing an ivy leaf from Wrigley Field’s outfield wall. In the original license agreement, the Cubs’ acknowledged Fox as…
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MLB Asks Lawmakers to be Cautious in Recently Legalized Sports Betting World

On July 31, 2018, at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Bryan Seeley, a senior vice president with Major League Baseball, asked lawmakers to be cautious in the recently legalized sports betting world. As we have previously reported, in May 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal statute controlling the states’ ability to regulate sports gambling. In its majority opinion, the court voted to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Although PAPSA did not…
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Update: Former Yankees Player’s Negligence Suit to Stay in State Court

As we have previously covered, former New York Yankees outfielder, Dustin Fowler, sued the Chicago White Sox in February 2018 after his first ever major league game ended in injury on the White Sox field.  While chasing a foul ball, Fowler ran full speed into what would normally be a padded wall, but what was actually an unpadded metal electrical box that was unapparent to him prior to impact.  Fowler sued the White Sox, claiming that the team negligently installed the box such…
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