Hot Dogs Bite Back

Philadelphia Phillies Mascot the “Phanatic” has been launching free hot dogs high into the stands for as long as Phillies fans can remember. The dogs are launched using a custom turret style launcher mounted on the back of a John Deer, which makes for quite the spectacle. The Phanatic has fed the fans for years with no issues or hot dog related injuries. This all changed this past Monday, June 18th. Longtime Philadelphia resident and Phillies fan Kathy McVay was seated behind…
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Over/Under: Two Steps Forward and One Step Back for Legal Betting in New Jersey

On Tuesday, May, 25, 2018 the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider discussed the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to strike down a federal statute controlling the states’ ability to regulate sports gambling. Shortly after, New Jersey became the first state to officially make wagering legal and gain access to the estimated $150 billion market by approving Assembly Bill A-411. However, America’s professional sports leagues did not respond positively to New Jerseys’ legislation. Specifically, the leagues are worried about the potential for corruption and athletes manipulating the…
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Marlins Move Former Employee’s Wage Suit to Federal Court

In April 2018, a former marketing manager for the Miami Marlins filed a lawsuit against the team, claiming lost wages and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. On Friday, June 1, 2018, the Marlins filed a notice of removal, moving the case to federal court pursuant to the club’s contention that the former employee’s complaint raises substantial questions of federal law. Boris Garcia Menier started as an intern with the Marlins in 2006 and later became a marketing coordinator, supervisor and then manager…
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MLB Players Move to Compel Discovery Yet Again in Al Jazeera Libel Suit

 On April 20, 2018, MLB players Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard, plaintiffs in the Al Jazeera libel case, filed another motion to compel discovery in the ongoing battle. As we have previously reported, this is not the players’ first attempt at extracting additional information from defendant Al Jazeera amid discovery. The defamation suit stems from their production and airing of a 2015 documentary, called “The Dark Side,” which accused the MLB players of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) while playing for the MLB. The entire…
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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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