“Physically Damaging Workouts” cited in $12M Suit Against University of Oregon and NCAA

Doug Brenner, former offensive lineman for the University of Oregon, has brought suit against the school, the NCAA, and two coaches for $11.5 million. Brenner contends that the “extreme” workouts players were forced to endure resulted in such “serious, lifelong injuries,” and that his body is “ruined.” Coach Willie Taggart and strength and conditioning Coach Irele Oderinde were recently added to the complaint, and Brenner alleges that the coaches implemented “physically impossible and unreasonably repetitious” routines for Brenner and the other football players. Brenner…
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NFL Withdraws Controversial Appeal Just Before Hearing

On January 9, 2019, one day before a scheduled hearing, the NFL withdrew its appeal that previously outraged attorneys representing former NFL players in concussion class-action litigation. As we have previously reported, in April 2015, the NFL entered into a settlement agreement with almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped monetary fund for players who could prove certain neurological diagnoses. The settlement provided a $75 million “baseline assessment program” that provided eligible retired players with neurological examinations, a $10 million education…
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Michael Peluso Sues New Jersey Devils

On January 3, 2019, former New Jersey Devils’ enforcer, Michael Peluso, sued the New Jersey Devils and various team officials, claiming that the team concealed his risk of long-term neurological problems. According to Peluso, the Devils hid the full extent of a head injury that he suffered, on December 18, 1993, in a fight with Tony Twist, a member of the Quebec Nordiques. During the fight, Peluso allegedly suffered a concussion. According to the complaint, the Devils “intentionally, deliberately, fraudulently, and with callous disregard…
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Former NFL Players Face Uphill Battle in Painkillers Appeal

On December 19, 2018, a lawyer representing six former NFL players had difficulties persuading a panel of Ninth Circuit judges to revive a lawsuit claiming that the NFL illegally dispensed painkillers and pushed athletes to return to the field, ending their careers early. The lead plaintiff, Etopia Evans, widow of the late Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens player Charles “Chuck” Evans, filed her federal class action lawsuit back in May 2015. Back in 2008, Chuck Evans died a jail cell, two days after being imprisoned…
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Update: Tempers Flare at Closing Arguments in the Student Athlete’s Wage Suit

During closing arguments in the NCAA student-athlete wage suit, on December 18, 2018, Beth Wilkinson, attorney representing the NCAA, told U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken that she was mistaken about some underlying facts of the case. At the start of closing arguments, Judge Wilken said that it “seems very clear” that the NCAA violated antitrust laws, but she questioned how the violation could be quantified. However, Wilkinson was quick to respond, saying “[w]e have not ever conceded that there was an antitrust violation.” Judge Wilken…
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Packers Fan Cannot Force Bears to let him wear Green Bay Gear, For Now

On December 13, 2018, Russell Beckman, a longtime Green Bay Packers fan and a Chicago Bears season ticket holder, asked U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall to enjoin a Chicago Bears, and Soldier Field, policy prohibiting participants in a pregame Bears Season Ticket Holder Experience from wearing non-Bears apparel on the sidelines. Beckman continues to claim that the Bears-gear-only policy violates Beckman’s right to free speech. As we have previously covered, Beckman, representing himself, sued the NFL and the Chicago Bears after he was not…
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Former Dallas Cowboy Hit With a $25 million Verdict

On December 13, 2018, a Texas state court jury handed Josh Brent, a former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle, a $25 million wrongful death verdict. Brent, his now-defunct nightclub – Beamers Private Club, and its employees, were accused of negligence after the clubs employees allowed Brent drink excessively while at Beamers Private Club. After it was apparent that Brent was intoxicated, and presented a clear danger to himself and others, Brent and a former teammate, Jerry Brown, began driving through a Dallas suburb at excessive…
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The City of Oakland Sues the NFL

On December 11, 2018, the city of Oakland, California, sued the NFL and all thirty-two NFL teams, over the decision to relocate the Raiders to Las Vegas. In March 2017, the Oakland Raiders announced  that they planned to relocate to Las Vegas by 2020. According to the complaint, Oakland went to extraordinary efforts to keep the Raiders from leaving, but the ultimate decision was purely monetary: Las Vegas offered $750 million, ostensibly for a new stadium. Allegedly, as a part of the deal to…
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Dance Like Somebody’s Watching: Alfonso Ribeiro of “Fresh Prince” Fame Sues “Fortnite” Creators Over Use of “Carlton Dance”

On December 17, 2018, Alfonso Ribeiro brought a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit against Epic Games, the creators of immensely popular “Fortnite” video game.  Ribeiro is most famously known for his role on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” where he portrayed Carlton Banks.  In the series, Ribeiro created a “Carlton Dance” that remains widely known, and the suit alleges Epic Games used this choreography without permission. An important note found in the complaint is that Ribeiro is currently in the process of registering…
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Judge Chooses Special Investigator in NFL Concussion Settlement

On December 10, 2018, U.S. District Judge Anita J. Brody, the judge overseeing the NFL concussion settlement, appointed former Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel to serve as the special fraud investigator in the NFL Concussion Settlement. Under Judge Brody’s order, Judge Stengel will serve as a Special Investigator and will “look into possible fraudulent claims.” As we have previously reported, since April 2018, the NFL has asked Judge Brody to appoint a special investigator to examine potentially fraudulent concussion claims that…
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