WWE Attorneys Ask Court for Sanctions, Grapple Over Proper Actions in CTE Lawsuit

On Friday, October 16th, 2015, World Wrestling Entertainment filed a motion in Connecticut federal court, seeking sanctions and other penalties against a set of attorneys representing former WWF performer Matt Osborne. Osborne created and popularized the character of Doink the Clown, a staple of early to mid-1990s professional wrestling, until he was fired by management in 1993 for drug-related issues. Following Osborne’s death by overdose in 2013, his family hired a team of attorneys to represent them on behalf of the former professional wrestler, who…
Continue reading...

Class Action Filed Against NBA Video Game Developer

On Monday, October 19, 2015, two Illinois residents filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Take-Two, a video game publisher, developer, and distributor, alleging violation of privacy rights. The video games in question are Take-Two’s NBA 2K15 and NBA 2K16 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming platforms. According to the complaint, Take-Two integrates PS4’s camera and Xbox’s Kinect camera into the games, allowing users to create NBA players with a “personally identifying facial rendition.” The plaintiffs argue that this feature constitutes illegal collection of…
Continue reading...

MJ and Chicago Grocer in Settlement Talks

On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, an Illinois federal judge told Michael Jordan and Jewel Food Stores, Inc. that both sides will benefit from settling their right of publicity suit. The lawsuit arose out of an advertisement placed in Sports Illustrated. The advertisement featured text congratulating Jordan on his introduction into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, a pair of basketball shoes portraying Jordan’s Number 23, and Jewel’s own logo. Jordan brought suit against Jewel alleging that Jewel used his likeness without permission in the…
Continue reading...

More Cheerleaders are Chiming in: Milwaukee Bucks Dancers File Wage Action, Joining Trend

On Thursday September 24, 2015, former Milwaukee Bucks cheerleading team member Lauren Herington filed a class action against the NBA organization regarding minimum wage violation allegations. Herington represents a class of current and former Bucks cheerleaders/dancers, aptly named, the “Bucks Dancers.” The lawsuit was brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and pursuant to Wisconsin state wage and hour laws. The action is seeking increased wages and damages, in addition to injunctive relief for attorneys’ fees, unpaid overtime wages, and unpaid minimum wages. The…
Continue reading...

Tynes v. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers: the Placekicker’s Staph Infection Suit Will Continue

The lawsuit of former NFL placekicker Lawrence Tynes will continue in Florida state court, despite the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ (the defendant) best efforts to dismiss the case on federal preemption grounds. The ruling of U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. on September 24, 2015, granted Tynes’ motion to remand the case to a state court.  The decision also denied the Bucs’ counterargument that the case should be dismissed due to federal preemption under the Labor Management Relations Act. In general circumstances, matters arising under…
Continue reading...

Adrian Peterson Suspension: NFL Players Association Invokes Brady Opinion

On September 3, 2015, a New York federal judge overturned New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, and the decision has now found its way into Adrian Peterson’s lawsuit against the NFL. In 2014, the NFL suspended Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson after allegations surfaced that he had used a wooden switch on his four-year-old son. The NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit on Peterson’s behalf, and the suspension was eventually overturned by a Minnesota federal judge. The judge — U.S. District Judge…
Continue reading...

Student Athletes Appeal Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit Against NCAA, Electronic Arts

A new development emerged Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in the case against Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) as two plaintiffs are appealing the approval of a $60 million settlement. The case—a class action lawsuit brought by student athletes—involves the use of students’ names, images, and likeness in EA’s NCAA video game series. The class action has two underlying lawsuits: Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al and O’Bannon, Jr. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association et al. A…
Continue reading...

Those Pesky CBA’s: The Strife of Bismack Biyombo’s Former Agent

In June 2014, agent Igor Crespo sued his former client, NBA center Bismack Biyombo, for breach of their player-agent contract.  The action, however, will now be limited pursuant to a recent order issued by Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the New York Supreme Court (New York’s trial court level) on September 4, 2015. The initial complaint filed claims against Biyombo for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and tortious interference of contract.  The damages are alleged at $2 million.  In particular, Crespo claims that, under the…
Continue reading...

Golden Boy Promotions v. Haymon: Who is the Real Double-Dipper?

This past May, boxing promotion company Golden Boy Promotions LLC filed an antitrust action against Alan Haymon, a manager for various boxers, including Floyd Mayweather.  The action claims that Haymon violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, and several state laws, alleging that the manager acted as both a manager of boxers and a boxing promoter to monopolize American boxing.  Laws such as the Ali Act are intended to separate boxing promotion from management so that fiduciary duties owed to…
Continue reading...

To Preempt or Not to Preempt: The Boogaard Wrongful Death Action v. the NHL

In recent weeks, the NHL has busily defended two cases involving the league’s alleged liability for player safety issues. Although the plaintiffs in each individual case have filed distinguishable allegations against the league, discovery in the two suits may become intertwined. The first case is a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in which the plaintiffs — former NHL players — have claimed that the league is liable for their concussion-related medical problems. In the second case, the plaintiffs, parents of the late Derek Boogaard, alleged that the…
Continue reading...