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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MLB Points to Win Over Minor Leaguers in Attempt to Cut Off Scout’s Appeal

Former Kansas City Royals scout Jordan Wyckoff, and former Colorado Rockies scout Darwin Cox, have sued Major League Baseball for unlawfully suppressing scout’s wages. In September, 2016, the bulk of their suit was dismissed by a New York district court after it was ruled that the scout’s federal and state antitrust claims were barred by the so-called baseball exemption. The exemption was set forth in a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision, and it covers employees who are essential to the “business of baseball.”

On July …

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MLB Tagged with Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Angel Hernandez, an umpire for Major League Baseball, has sued the league along with the commissioner’s office. Hernandez alleges that racial discrimination — along with a long term personal vendetta between Joe Torre and himself — has been hindering his career advancement as a professional baseball umpire.

Hernandez filed his complaint in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, which claimed the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and Major League Baseball Blue Inc. violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio …

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Seventh Circuit Hears Arguments from Rooftop Owners over Cubs Blocking Stadium Sight Lines

The ongoing legal battle between the Chicago Cubs and the owners of the iconic rooftops near Wrigley Field entered extra innings on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. The two teams fielded their heavy hitters for arguments in front of the Seventh Circuit over whether the Cubs broke a contractual duty in blocking the stadium sight lines from the rooftops. In 2004, both sides agreed to a 20-year contract in which the Cubs would not block for obstruct the views from the roofs and each rooftop owner …

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