Jury Reduces Fan’s Award in Case Against L.A. Dodgers

On September 16, 2009, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers fan, Leonard Romo, suffered injuries after Dodgers’ security guards tackled, handcuffed, and dragged him. He suffered shoulder, knee, back, and neck injuries, missed work, and later underwent knee surgery. Romo subsequently sued the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to the Dodgers, Romo and his daughter became belligerent after security guards asked Romo’s daughter to turn her T-shirt inside out because it had offensive language on it. After the 2016 personal injury action, Romo a jury awarded $475,000. Of…
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Cubs Dropped From Foul Ball Suit, If Only Temporarily

As we previously reported, a Cubs fan was struck in the face by a foul ball during an August 2017 game at Wrigley Field, where he brought his children to watch from the first base line. The injury left John “Jay” Loos blind in one eye and his other eye vulnerable to the same. He filed suit against both the MLB and the Cubs in October, alleging negligence by both parties, specifically, for failing to install a net which would have otherwise shielded him…
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Four MLB Teams Called Out for Potential Misuse of Revenue-Sharing Funds

The Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tampa Bay Rays are under scrutiny as the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) filed a grievance against them on February 23, 2018. The grievance called into question whether their use of revenue-sharing funds has been consistent with the teams’ collective bargaining agreement. The collective bargaining agreement names its “principle objective” as “promot[ing] the growth of the Game and the industry on an individual Club and on an aggregate basis.” In doing so, the agreement requires that…
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White Sox’s Move to Dismiss Dustin Fowler’s Negligence Suit

On February 13, 2018, the Chicago White Sox moved to dismiss a suit brought by brought by former New York Yankees outfielder, Dustin Fowler. Fowler, now a member of the Oakland Athletics, sued the White Sox claiming that the team negligently caused him to injure himself during a game at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox. The incident occurred on June 29, 2017, when Fowler was running at full speed, chasing a foul ball, and crashed into the low corner wall. His right…
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MLB, Chicago Cubs Ask Judge to Toss Fan’s Foul Ball Blindness Suit

The Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball moved to dismiss a negligence suit on December 15, 2017 before a Cook County Circuit Court, arguing that the Illinois Baseball Facility Liability Act bars the plaintiff’s claims. John “Jay” Loos sued the Cubs and MLB in October, claiming they were negligent for failing to install enough netting behind home plate. Loos claimed the foul ball hit by a Pittsburgh Pirates player on August 29 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field not only left him blind in one eye, but…
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MLB Fans Swing ‘n Miss on Safety Netting Suit in Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Gail Payne and Stephanie Smith lack standing to seek an order requiring more safety netting and other protective measures at all Major League Baseball ballparks, pointing to the League’s evidence indicating that the risk of injury is very slim. The Ninth Circuit refused to reinstate the lawsuit, affirming U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ ruling in November 2016 that tossed out the suit. Judge Rogers had agreed that injuries to baseball spectators, especially children, are more severe…
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Tampa Bay Rays Strike Concession Company with Contract Suit

On December 8, 2017, the Tampa Bay Rays baseball club filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida against Centerplate Inc., formerly known as Volume Services Inc., for breach of contract involving their 20-year exclusive concession agreement at Tropicana Field. Volume Services entered the contract with the baseball club a year before the Tampa Bay Rays’ first game in 1998, but were unable to reach an agreement to extend the contract after the 2017 season. The baseball club alleged damages over the course of…
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Al Jazeera America Argues MLB Players Must Subpoena Reporter in Libel Suit

On November 6, 2017, Al Jazeera America LLC moved that it does not need to provide documents in response to the MLB players’ motion to compel the company to give information an undercover reporter gathered in 2015. The move is the latest in the libel case filed by MLB players Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard in January 2016 that alleged Al Jazeera America recklessly published the 2015 documentary “The Dark Side” and an accompanying article, and damaged their reputations. The documentary revealed the use of…
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Baseball Scouts Strike Out on Claims League Conspires on Low Wages

Former Kansas City Royals scout Jordan Wyckoff and ex-Colorado Rockies scout Darwin Cox urged the Second Circuit on August 24, 2017 to narrowly construe Major League Baseball’s long-held antitrust exemption to only those functions essential to the holding of actual professional baseball games. The three-judge panel was skeptical of the scouts’ oral arguments. The dispute came up on appeal after the class action suit on behalf of 1,600 scouts was dismissed in September 2016 by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The complaint alleged that…
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Nationals, Orioles Broadcasting Dispute Heading Back to MLB Arbitration

The New York State First Department Appellate Division voted 3-2 to allow Major League Baseball owners and executives decide the ongoing dispute between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. The teams are divided over how much compensation the Washington Nationals should receive from the Baltimore Orioles and their broadcasting entity, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, for television broadcast of the Nationals’ games. In November 2015, a New York State Supreme Court threw out an MLB arbitration decision granting the Nationals $298 million from the Mid-Atlantic Sports…
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