NCAA Referee Appeals Dismissal of Death Threats Lawsuit

NCAA referee John Higgins asked the Sixth Circuit to accept his case against a Kentucky radio station, as well as two of its hosts, in a brief filed on Monday. Higgins alleges that the hosts deliberately incited fans to attack his roofing business and send him death threats following a March 26, 2017 NCAA tournament game between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels in which the Wildcats lost, 75-73, ending their season. According to the lawsuit,…
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NBC and Carrie Underwood Face Lawsuit Over NFL Sunday Night Football Theme Song

The common phrase among NFL fans of wanting to make it home “before Carrie” comes on might be in jeopardy now that Carrie Underwood and NBCUniversal Media are facing a copyright lawsuit by songwriter Heidi Merill. Merrill claims she pitched her song “Game On” to Underwood’s producer, Mark Bright, in 2017 at a conference, where he suggested she should submit the song to his office. After submitting the song, his office responded to her with an email telling her that they were “going to pass”…
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Adidas Falls Short in Protecting Trademark Registration of “Three-Stripe Mark” in EU Court

Adidas AG fell short in its efforts to protect broader trademark rights to its three-stripe mark, as the European Union ruled the design was not distinctive enough for protection. This decision invalidated its 2014 trademark registration on “three parallel equidistant stripes of identical width” which are applied on products “in any discretion.” “Adidas does not prove that that mark has acquired, throughout the territory of the EU, distinctive character following the use which had been made of it,” the court wrote in its decision summary
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Somerville Mayor Sues Barstool Sports, Kirk Minihane for Lying to Conduct Interview

Joseph Curtatone, mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit against Massachusetts-based sports media company, Barstool Sports (Barstool), as well as Kirk Minihane, a podcaster who Barstool recently hired. The lawsuit alleges that Barstool and Minihane violated Massachusetts’ wiretap statute by recording an interview with the mayor via “fraud,” according to the complaint filed on June 17, 2019. Mayor Curtatone announced the lawsuit himself via Twitter. In the video recording, which Barstool posted on its website and two of its social media platforms, Minihane pretended…
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D.C. Circuit Opinion Rules That Lacrosse Officials in Pennsylvania Are Independent Contractors

The D.C. Circuit ruled on June 14, 2019, that lacrosse officials working for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) are independent contractors and not employees. This ruling deems the officials ineligible to organize under the National Labor Relations Act, according to an opinion filed by Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith last Friday. Despite the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) agreeing to declare the workers “employees” under their own standards, a three-judge D.C. Circuit panel determined that the NLRB did not account for the infrequency…
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Former Michigan State Dean Found Guilty of Misconduct and Willful Neglect of Duty in Nassar Case

Former Michigan State University Dean William Strampel was found guilty on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 of misconduct in office and two counts of willful neglect of duty. This conviction derives from Strampel’s failure to oversee convicted serial molester Larry Nassar as an orthopedic physician at Michigan State University. The charges come from Michigan Special Prosecutor William Forsyth’s investigation into Nassar abusing over 200 young girls and women over the span of multiple decades. Nassar pled guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct and child…
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Plaintiffs File Lawsuit Against Seattle Mariners and Ballpark for Allegedly Providing Inadequate Accommodations for Those With Disabilities

A nonprofit disabilities-rights law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of four disabled Seattle Mariners fans in October 2018 against the Mariners and the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District, which owns the team’s ballpark, T-Mobile Park. The four plaintiffs claim that the ballpark violated state and federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (ADA). These plaintiffs are Washington residents who claim they encountered issues with seating, food service, or access to certain parts of the stadium and endured…
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Judge Sentences Former Arizona Basketball Coach to Three Months for His Role in Bribery Conspiracy

Former University of Arizona basketball assistant coach Emanuel Richardson was sentenced to three months in prison on a bribery charge on June 6, 2019. Richardson, who was with the team from 2010-2016, pleaded guilty in January to charges that he accepted $20,000 in bribes to influence certain Arizona players to hire agent Christian Dawkins. Richardson was one of several people caught on wiretaps involving Dawkins. Richardson’s sentencing came just one day after Tony Bland, a former assistant coach for the University of South Carolina,…
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AP Photographers Moving Closer to the End Zone as a Deal in Their Copyright Battle is Close

The National Football League (NFL) appears to be close to finalizing a settlement with a number of Associated Press (AP) photographers regarding an ongoing dispute stemming from royalty payments. Counsel notified U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty on June 3, 2019 that the parties are in the process of finalizing a confidential settlement agreement. According to the letter, a motion to dismiss is expected within the next 45 days. The suit, brought by Paul Spinelli and six other photographers, alleged that the NFL exploited thousands…
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School Found Not at Fault for Cheerleader’s Head Injuries

A California appeals court has rejected Shelbie Stevens, a former Azusa Pacific University cheerleader, in an attempt to revive her suit for negligence against the university and her former coach, Rosie Francis. Stevens suffered three head injuries from participating in the sport that she claims have caused neurological issues. A three-judge panel consisting of Judges Jeffrey W. Johnson, Helen I. Bendix, and Superior Court Judge Gregory J. Weingart disagreed with Stevens on May 29, 2019. The California appeals court determined that Stevens assumed the risk…
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