NCAA & Villanova Critique Student Athlete’s Amended Wage Suit

The Sports Law Insider previously reported on a putative class’ wage suit against the NCAA and several universities. The suit by former Villanova football player Lawrence “Poppy” Livers was brought in September 2017. Livers asserted 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” violated the…
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NJ Supreme Court Won’t Review Bike Helmet Lawsuit

On July 15, 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s decision where a jury unanimously ruled in favor of Bell Sports U.S.A. (Bell). In 2008, Carl Lawson and his wife Gloria, brought a products liability lawsuit against Bell, a bicycle helmet manufacturer, claiming that the teardrop design of Lawson’s bicycle helmet contributed to his injuries. According to Lawson’s 2015 appeal, Lawson was mountain biking while wearing a Bell Solar Fusion bicycle helmet when he lost control of his bicycle,…
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Online Betting Co. Sued By Former Employee

On Monday, June 18, 2018, online horse racing platform Xpressbet LLC was sued in Pennsylvania federal court by former employee John Martinez. Xpressbet allows users to bet live horse races legally online. Martinez claims he was demoted and subsequently fired because he took medical leave. Martinez brings his complaint to recover all available damages for violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA). Martinez started working at Xpressbet in 2015…
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USGA Reaches Agreement with Shinnecock Indian Nation Ahead of U.S. Open

The United States Golf Association (USGA) will host the 2018 United States Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York on June 14-17. This will be the fifth time the national championship is held at Shinnecock, and the first time since 2004. The second ever U.S. Open was played at Shinnecock in 1896, which marked the start of a long standing relationship between the USGA and the Shinnecock Indian Nation. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club was constructed on land once owned by the Shinnecock…
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Former Athletes Say NCAA “Hiding the Ball” and Engaging in “Trial by Ambush”

On April 4, 2018 the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider discussed an ongoing lawsuit that was brought by a class of former college athletes seeking to lift the cap on student athlete compensation under NCAA rules. The case is being tried by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, who previously ruled in favor of student athletes on antitrust claims against the NCAA in O’Bannon. In March 2018, Judge Wilken denied the NCAA’s motion for summary judgment and sent the current case to trial. With trial…
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SCOTUS Declines Opportunity to Reconsider MLB Antitrust Exemption

Major League Baseball’s immunity from antitrust violations under the Sherman Act has been called an “anomaly.” It has also been consistently upheld by courts since 1922, when it was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. The exemption was codified by Congress in the Curt Flood Act of 1998, maintaining an exemption for MLB and its clubs when conducting the “business of baseball” and providing more freedom to players seeking free agency and salary arbitration. Despite striking out with lower courts, two…
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“Bizarre Dispute” Between Soccer Gear Company and Nike Ends at the Ninth Circuit

On June 7, 2018, Johnnie B. Rawlinson, a Ninth Circuit judge, denied Havensight Capital LLC’s appeal. In September 2014, Havensight Capital LLC, a soccer gear company and competitor of Nike, Inc., filed a lawsuit against Nike, claiming intentional interference with prospective economic relations; unfair competition and trade practices; commercial misappropriation; intentional interference with contractual relations; negligence; and invasion of privacy. According to Judge Rawlinson, the “appeal is the latest in an ongoing and bizarre dispute” where Havensight has portrayed its lawsuit as a battle between…
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Vikings Owners Granted Massive Reduction in Damages in RICO Suit

On June 1, 2018, a three-judge appellate panel in New Jersey reviewed a 26-year old racketeering case against Minnesota Vikings owners, Zygmunt, Mark, Leonard Wilf, and other defendants, determining that a nearly $103 million award must be reconsidered. In its 90-page decision, the panel upheld Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims, as well as some non-RICO claims, including fraud and breach of fiduciary duties. In doing so, however, it decided that the total award required reexamination because it improperly included RICO and non-RICO…
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UPDATE: Former Professional Golfer Sued

On January 24, 2018, drink and dietary supplement company, Organo Gold International Inc., sued 62-year-old former professional golfer Greg Norman, Aussie Rules Marine Services, Ltd., and ABG-Shark, LLC, in Washington federal court. Norman controls Aussie, a foreign company organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Also, Norman has an existing partnership with ABG. Back in March of 2017, Norman partnered with, and gave, ABG the right to control “the direction of the consumer products division of The Greg Norman Company.” In their…
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Update: Foul Ball Leads to Lawsuit Against College and NCAA

On February 14, 2018, former Division II college baseball player Joseph Gutowski filed suit against West Chester University of Pennsylvania and the NCAA after injuries he sustained during a game in 2016. In his complaint, Gutowski alleges that a foul ball hit him directly in the head during a home game in April 2016, while he was seated on the players’ bench in the dugout. Claiming permanent injuries, he is now seeking damages for breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment, and negligent infliction of…
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