Federal Judge Rejects Amended Complaint in Ohio State Sexual Assault Case

A federal judge overseeing a sexual assault lawsuit against The Ohio State University (OSU) has denied the plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint for the time being, stating that the parties need to focus on mediation. Hundreds of former athletes and others have filed lawsuits against OSU, alleging that university doctor Richard Strauss, now deceased, sexually abused or assaulted them. In May 2019, law firm Perkins Coie LLP released an investigative report concluding that Strauss sexually abused at least 177 men during his tenure at…
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One More Time: New Lawsuit Argues NCAA Must Pay Athletes Minimum Wage

Trey Johnson, a former defensive back for Villanova University, has sued the NCAA, arguing that the organization has violated federal labor law and that it must pay student-athletes a minimum wage. In his lawsuit, Johnson argues that student-athletes clearly constitute employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, he notes that college students in work-study programs are classified as employees, meaning that they are subject to minimum wage laws. Meanwhile, student-athletes, who work longer schedules and create the need for some of these work-study…
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NCAA Student-Athlete Pay Rules, Opposition Grows

On October 30, 2019, the plaintiffs in the Alston v. NCAA case gained support in the form of an amicus curiae brief from the Open Markets Institute, Change to Win, the National Employment Law Project, economics professor Marshall Steinbaum, and law professors Sanjukta Paul and Veena Dubal. In the brief submitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the amici argue that the U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Claudia Wilken, reached “an overly narrow” decision based upon…
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U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Ordered to Reveal Sponsorship Income

In March 2019, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) filed suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that the USSF violated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for paying the women’s soccer team players less than the U.S. Men’s National Team. On October 28, 2019, the USSF filed a motion to compel disclosure. The USSF seeks documents from the…
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NFL Tells Ninth Circuit to End Painkiller Class Action Lawsuit

The NFL argued to the Ninth Circuit that the lawsuit from former players should be dismissed, as it was individual teams, not the league, that supplied the players with amphetamines and painkillers. In 2014, former Chicago Bears players Richard Dent and Jim McMahon sued the NFL, claiming that teams frequently use opioids, anesthetics, and anti-inflammatory drugs like Toradol. They alleged that such drug use often does not require prescriptions and that the teams do not take into account medical history or potentially fatal interactions with…
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Ex-Wrestlers Argue WWE Hid Risks of Head Injuries in Concussion Lawsuit

In a Second Circuit lawsuit, a group of former professional wrestlers argued that the statute of limitations did not lapse in their lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), as they knew about and hid the risks of head injuries. As we reported earlier, 67 retired wrestlers sued WWE and its CEO, Vince McMahon, arguing that WWE failed to protect the health of its wrestlers. As a result, these retired wrestlers suffered concussions, CTE, and other brain injuries. The lawsuit was dismissed in September…
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Out of Time: Ex-NFL Players’ Suit Against Riddell Time Barred

In July 2016, a group of former NFL players filed a lawsuit against the sports equipment manufacturer, Riddell, Inc., in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. However, on October 21, 2019, Illinois’s First District Appellate Court ruled that the players’ suit is time barred by the “two-year statute of limitations governing personal injury actions in Illinois.” In their complaint, the players alleged Riddell “failed to warn” that their “plastic helmets could not protect” the players against concussions or long-term neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, the…
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TCPA Lawsuit Against Tampa Bay Lightning Reaches Class Settlement

A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Lightning, in which a fan claimed that the NHL team violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by flooding him with unwanted text messages. Plaintiff Brian Hanley claimed that the team violated the TCPA by using a bait-and-switch tactic. Hanley was under the impression that he had entered a ticket contest for a future Lightning game by texting a short code number. Instead, he had inadvertently signed up for an advertising…
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Federal Judge Dismisses Two Ex-NHL Players’ Concussion Lawsuits

A Minnesota federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the NHL by two former players, finding that the court lacks jurisdiction over the suit. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson dismissed two lawsuits, filed by Andre Deveaux and Todd Harvey, without prejudice. Judge Nelson reasoned that the players lacked a connection to Minnesota for jurisdiction. Deveaux and Harvey never played for a Minnesota hockey team, nor did they present enough evidence linking them to the state. As we previously reported, Judge Nelson oversaw a…
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WWE Counters Wrestlers’ Appeal in Concussion Lawsuit

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and its CEO, Vince McMahon, have fought back against 67 retired wrestlers who appealed the dismissal of their concussion lawsuit. Beginning in 2014, these former wrestlers filed lawsuits against WWE, arguing that the organization failed to protect their health, which resulted in concussions, CTE, and other brain injuries. In September 2018, the Connecticut District Court dismissed the lawsuit as many of the plaintiffs stopped wrestling before WWE was aware of the risks of head trauma. The attorney for the plaintiffs,…
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