Tampa Bay Buccaneers Settle with Cheerleaders for $825k

On Friday March 6, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached a cash settlement with their cheerleader squad, ending an almost year-long wage dispute. Last May, Manouchcar Pierre-Val, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader during the 2012-2013 season, filed a lawsuit against the team claiming unfair wages and treatment.  According to the lawsuit, Pierre-Val and other cheerleaders were paid less than $2 per hour.  The cheerleaders received $100 per game, but were not compensated for practice time, charity events, clinics, and shooting their swimsuit calendar.  Though unpaid for…
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NFL’s Goodell Says Mea Culpa for Super Bowl Seating Problems

A taped deposition of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was played for jurors at the Super Bowl XLV seating trial.  In the recording, Goodell blamed the league, not the Dallas Cowboys, for the fiasco that left over 400 ticket holders without seats at all while other affected ticket holders had seats with restricted views. When asked whether the Cowboys and owner should be held responsible for the seating problem, Goodell responded, “I’m not blaming others. I’m blaming ourselves. I’m accepting responsibility. It is…
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Super Bowl Seating Trial Underway; Angry Fans Claim NFL Greedy

On Monday, March 2, a jury was selected and the trial finally began in the 2011 Super Bowl seating snafu lawsuit that was brought by eight plaintiffs seeking damages for their unsatisfactory experience at the game In 2011, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl held in the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington Texas.  Some ticket holding patrons, however, missed it.  The eight plaintiffs in this lawsuit, in addition to 200 other plaintiffs in a second pending lawsuit, are suing…
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Judge Overturns NFL Arbitrator’s Denial of Peterson’s Appeal

U.S. District Judge David Doty found that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had no authority to retroactively apply the NFL’s new policy and that NFL arbitrator Henderson “simply disregarded the law of the shop and in doing so failed to meet his duty under the [Collective Bargaining Agreement signed on August 4, 2011].”  The judge remanded the case to follow further proceedings under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. Peterson had been suspended until at least by April 15 pursuant to the new personal conduct…
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“The Blueprint” for an Infringement?

A recently-filed case in a California federal court has Jay-Z and his promoters at Live Nation wondering whether they’ll continue to reap the benefits of the 1999 hit single Big Pimpin’ or whether they’ll be “spending G’s” to clean up a potential infringement posed by a sample looped throughout one of S. Carter’s most famous tracks.  Last week, an Egyptian plaintiff named Osama Ahmed Fahmy sued Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., seeking unspecified actual damages and costs, alleging Live Nation’s continued “use” of Big Pimpin’ in…
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Donald Trump Takes Doral Noise Ordinance Issue Out of Court

Donald Trump decided to drop the lawsuit he filed a week ago against the City of Doral that challenged the constitutionality of the city’s noise ordinance. Instead, Trump decided to have negotiation talks with the city, according to his spokesman Ed Russo who said, “In good faith, we have decided to voluntarily withdraw our lawsuit against the city, and we look forward to productive discourse regarding this matter.”  The ordinance at issue is Section 26-128 of Doral’s charter that provides that the standard for…
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Former NFL Defensive Tackle Accused of Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Brad Culpepper, a former tackle for multiple National Football League teams, including the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Chicago Bears, has recently found himself in hot water over a reality-TV show appearance which an insurance carrier claims is evidence of fraud. Culpepper, who is now a personal-injury attorney in the State of Florida, took part in the “Survivor” reality series in 2013 engaging in physically-demanding tasks.  However, he also reportedly settled a workers’ compensation claim for $175,000 based on a rating of an 89%…
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PGA Caddies: Pay Us to be Human Billboards

Professional caddie Mike Hicks and 81 others filed a class-action against the PGA Tour in U.S. District Court in California, alleging the Tour’s misappropriation of their “likenesses and images in commercial activities.” The caddies seek for a share of revenue flowing in from caddies wearing bibs that display sponsors’ logos, which amounts to $50 million per year.  According to the suit, the caddies allege that they “are made to serve as billboards to advertise, at the direction of the PGA Tour, for some of the…
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Bankruptcy Judge Recommends NHL Not Recoup Fees From Coyotes Purchase

On Wednesday, January 21, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge recommended that the NHL not be allowed to collect the majority of the $145.9 million it claims from ex-Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes. The lawsuit stems from the NHL’s 2009 purchase of its member team, then named the Phoenix Coyotes.  The Coyotes were first purchased in 2006 by Jerry Moyes who realized after two years of operating at a $50 million loss  that he could not afford the team.  Moyes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy…
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Yet Another Concussion Suit Against WWE

It has been just over two months since a concussion suit against the WWE was filed last October.  Former World Wrestling Entertainment(“WWE”) wrestlers Vito LoGrasso, a.k.a. Big Vito and Skull Von Krush, and Evan Singleton, a.k.a. Adam Mercer, filed a suit against WWE, alleging WWE ignored signs of brain damages and other injuries while it focused on promoting violence for its business. The court filing said, “Under the guise of providing entertainment, the WWE has, for decades, subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality…
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