NFL & Former Players Reach Settlement Again; Judge Approves

On Wednesday, April 22, Federal Judge Anita Brody approved what may become the long-awaited final settlement between the massive class of ex-NFL players and the NFL in their concussion litigation. The lawsuit, an aggregation of hundreds of ex-players’ complaints, began three and a half years ago claiming the NFL failed to address and warn of the dangers of head trauma.  Former players and their families suffering from life with debilitating neurological damage sought medical help from the NFL.  After a few rejections of proposed settlements,…
Continue reading...

Jameis Winston, One of 2015 NFL Top Picks, in Civil Suit for Rape

In the lawsuit filed in a Florida state court in Orlando, Erica Kinsman accused Winston of assault, false imprisonment, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Through her attorneys David King, Baine Kerr, and John Clune, Kinsman is demanding more than $15,000 as well as “the right to seek leave as to her entitlement to punitive damages.” Specifically, the suit alleged that Winston’s “conduct was extreme and outrageous and caused Plaintiff to suffer severe mental anguish and suffering, including, more specifically, loss of sleep,…
Continue reading...

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Granted to Exotic Club Dancer Shot at Club in South Carolina

In a March 18, 2015 decision, the Supreme Court of South Carolina granted workers’ compensation benefits to an exotic dancer who was shot and injured during the course of her work activities. Although the legal conclusion was contested, the facts were not in dispute. Claimant LeAndra Lewis worked as an exotic dancer at multiple establishments in North and South Carolina.  On July 23, 2008, claimant was working at the Boom Boom Room Studio 54 when she was struck by a bullet fired during an altercation,…
Continue reading...

8-Year Old Lawsuit Over Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin’” Going to Trial

The lawsuit over Jay Z’s sampling of an Egyptian tune in his hit “Big Pimpin’” may come to an end in October when a jury decides whether the rapper had the right to use the Egyptian composition. Claiming that he is an heir of the composer Baligh Hamdy, Osama Ahmed Fahmy in 2007 sued Jay Z as well as Timbaland, Paramount Pictures, Warner Music, UMG and MTV.  He alleged that the rapper sampled the tune titled “Khosara, Khosara” from the 1957 film Fata
Continue reading...

Rise and Fall of an Empire (Distribution, Inc.)

In the pilot episode of Fox’s smash-hit series Empire, Cookie Lyon, explaining why, after her release from jail, she’s returning to her husband Lucious Lyon’s fictional record label, Empire Entertainment, says simply: “I’m here to get what’s mine.”  This is, of course, in reference to the formerly-jailed matriarch having taken the rap for Lucious to the tune of 17 years behind bars for drug-running while he built his music “empire.” Coincidentally, it also may sum up the thinking over the last couple of months…
Continue reading...

Court to Determine Who Owns “Happy Birthday to You”

A California federal judge is to decide whether Warner/Chappell owns the 120-year-old “Happy Birthday to You” as Warner/Chappell and Good Morning to You Productions (“GMTY”) came to an agreement to do so on March 23.  The copyright suit was brought against Warner/Chappell in 2013 by GMTY, alleging Warner/Chappell “extracted millions of dollars in unlawful licensing fees” for the song despite the controversy over the origins and ownership of the song. Arguing that the song has been in the public domain for 65 years, GMTY President…
Continue reading...

Stolen German Painting Found in NYC

James Weldon, a resident of East 73rd Street, inherited Adraen Coorte’s 1705 painting, “Still Life with Chestnuts.” This painting is now the basis of a Summons and Complaint filed in Manhattan Supreme Court by Dr. Konrad Meissner. Dr. Meissner, a resident of Polling, Germany, claims that his father was a well-known art dealer in Dresden, Germany and was in possession of the painting before it illegally seized by the German “Stasi.” In the 1970s and 1980s, East Germany had established “fictitious fax obligations” by the…
Continue reading...

Ex-Ravens Ray Lewis Going After His Former Lawyer

Ex-Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has sued his former attorney and longtime friend who defrauded him of $1.7 million in connection with a failed development project in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The lawsuit alleges Lewis’ former attorney Marc Seldin Rosen convinced Lewis to sign a line of credit that “would not be touched.”  However, the attorney obtained $1.7 million for the MVP Lanes entertainment complex, a Hunt Valley bowling alley project.  Lewis alleges that he believed he was only allowing his name and likeness to the project.…
Continue reading...

NFL Owes $75,000 in Super Bowl Seating Suit; Witness Tampering Questions Remain

On Thursday, March 12, the NFL was found guilty of breaching its contracts with seven fans who purchased tickets to Super Bowl XLV back in 2011 and is ordered to pay those fans $75,000. The seven fans brought this lawsuit against the NFL after they were denied the seats they purchased tickets to at the Super Bowl in Arlington, Texas.  Only a few hours before game time, the local fire marshal determined the seats unsafe, and the NFL had to scurry to supply new seats. …
Continue reading...

Jury Finds “Blurred Lines” a Copy, Awards Gaye Family $7.36 Million

On Tuesday, March 10, a California Jury  determined that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up” in writing their hit song “Blurred Lines,” awarding $7.36 million in damages to Gaye’s children. Back in August of 2013, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams filed a preemptive lawsuit to declare that their hit song “Blurred Lines” did not infringe on the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”  Ever since that point, the music world has…
Continue reading...