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…
Continue reading...

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…
Continue reading...

Former Players Sue Football Helmet Manufacturer Riddell

On October 30, 2018, a putative class action lawsuit was filed by former high school and college football players. The players are suing BRG Sports, Inc., commonly known as Riddell, for its practice of “marketing, promoting, and distributing dangerous and defective football helmets.” The players argued that they sustained permanent brain and neurological injuries due to inadequate padding in the company’s helmets, which they were told would protect them. According to the complaint, Riddell is the world’s largest football helmet manufacturer. For decades, Riddell…
Continue reading...

NCAA Trial Winds to a Close amid High Tensions and High Stakes

On October 19, 2018, the NCAA athletes submitted their closing arguments, firing away against the NCAA’s bar against compensating student athletes. The critical antitrust trial has centered on collegiate sports wages, with the plaintiffs arguing against the NCAA is, “economically invalid” in its arguments based on amateurism. The NCAA has countered that paying student athletes would harm both the demand for college sports and the integration of student-athletes in college campus. The athletes reject these arguments, alleging in their 51 page redacted brief that…
Continue reading...

Again Ninth Circuit Unlikely to Revive Lamar Dawson’s Lawsuit

On October 15, 2018, attorneys representing Lamar Dawson, a linebacker who played for the University of Southern California between 2011 and 2015, attempted to revive a proposed class action lawsuit against the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference. According to Dawson’s attorneys, the NCAA and the Pac-12 Conference should be considered employers of college football players, because they set limits on pay and work hours, within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Dawson’s attorneys are seeking to reverse U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg’s…
Continue reading...

Take Two: NCAA Moves to Dismiss Student Athlete’s Wage Suit

On October 8, 2018, the NCAA moved to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit led by Lawrence “Poppy” Livers, a former Villanova University football player. As we have previously reported, Livers sued to the NCAA claiming that the NCAA, Villanova, and other universities were violating the minimum wage provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Livers likened college athletes to paid student employees and claimed they should be compensated as such. However, Livers needed to show that the NCAA and the universities “willfully”…
Continue reading...

Junior Seau’s Family and the NFL Settle Wrongful Death Suit

On October 5, 2018, Junior Seau’s family settled their lawsuit with the NFL; however, the particulars of the settlement are confidential. As we have previously reported, Seau, who played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots, took his one life, at the age of 43, in 2012. An autopsy report showed that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a condition caused by repeated brain trauma. In 2013, Seau’s family filed a wrongful death and joined a class of…
Continue reading...

NCAA Likely to Face Another Round of Concussion Claims

On September 28, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge John Lee allowed two former Purdue University football players to proceed with most of their putative claims that the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference hid risks of repetitive brain trauma. The former football players, Michael Rose and Timothy Statton, are hoping to lead a class of former student-athletes who sustained head trauma while playing football for Purdue from 1952 to 2010. Their case stems from the “NCAA $75 Million Settlement.” As we have previously reported,…
Continue reading...

UW Chancellor and AAC Commissioner Each Testify at NCAA Antitrust Trial

On September 17, 2018, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Chancellor, Rebecca Blank, and American Athletic Conference (AAC) Commissioner, Michael Aresco, each testified in the NCAA Antitrust trial. As we have previously reported, in this lawsuit a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for various NCAA schools to compete for top college recruits. Pursuant to Chancellor Blank’s testimony, UW is considering dropping its athletic program in the event that the court forces…
Continue reading...

WWE Cleared from All Concussion-Related Lawsuits amid Plaintiff Attorney Sanctions

World Wrestling Entertainment has earned a key legal victory, with the Connecticut District Court ruling to dismiss all concussion-related claims against the entertainment giant. Over the past several years, more than 65 of retired wrestlers have filed against WWE, alleging a lack of protection for the wrestlers’ health that lead to concussions, CTE, and other brain injuries. The former wrestlers further contended that WWE forced them into dangerous performances and covered up the effects of head trauma. U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant…
Continue reading...