Former NFL Defensive End Appeals to Third Circuit in Concussion Lawsuit

Amon Gordon, a 37-year-old former NFL defensive end, appealed to the Third Circuit in his legal battle against the NFL for not alerting its players of the long-term medical impact of concussions. Specifically, Gordon played eight seasons in the NFL and is fighting for his entitlement to a 2015 uncapped settlement of roughly 20,000 players to awards of up to $5 million, depending on the age and severity of their football-related injuries, according to Law360. There is a belief among the legal community that…
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Raiders Prevail in Lawsuit Against City of Oakland

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero granted the Oakland Raiders, the NFL, and 31 other NFL teams their motion to dismiss a lawsuit from the City of Oakland on Thursday. In a 30-page order, Judge Spero found that a city cannot recover damages based on tax revenue from the “broad scope of economic activity associated with the presence of a professional football team.” The Raiders previously claimed the City of Oakland could “lose significant tax and other income” associated with the Raiders’ pending move…
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Texas Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Former Cowboys’ Linebacker Robert Jones’ TMZ Libel Suit

The Texas Supreme Court agreed on Friday to review whether a lower court was correct in allowing former Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Robert Jones to sue TMZ and Warner Brothers for a story claiming he allegedly attempted to hire a hitman to kill his agent, Jordan Woy. The initial story, released on the sports section of TMZ.com on June 18, 2014, stated that a 47-year-old man named Theodore Watson told police that Jones approached him and tried to hire him to kill his agent. Watson then…
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Rams to Pay $7.2 Million in Attorney Fees in Class Action Lawsuit by St. Louis Fans

A federal judge approved a settlement agreement in a class action lawsuit brought by football fans who bought personal seat licenses for St. Louis Rams home games before the team was moved to Los Angeles in January 2016. U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., a Missouri federal judge, granted the plaintiffs $7.2 million in attorney fees after approving two $3.6 million awards. Each of these awards are to be paid by the St. Louis Rams LLC to counsel. Judge Limbaugh also released an order…
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NBC and Carrie Underwood Face Lawsuit Over NFL Sunday Night Football Theme Song

The common phrase among NFL fans of wanting to make it home “before Carrie” comes on might be in jeopardy now that Carrie Underwood and NBCUniversal Media are facing a copyright lawsuit by songwriter Heidi Merill. Merrill claims she pitched her song “Game On” to Underwood’s producer, Mark Bright, in 2017 at a conference, where he suggested she should submit the song to his office. After submitting the song, his office responded to her with an email telling her that they were “going to pass”…
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NFL Insurers Seek to Avoid Reimbursing the NFL for Concussion Settlement Due to Missing Discovery

Insurers for the National Football League (NFL) petitioned a New York state court judge on June 14, 2019, demanding “underlying documents” from the NFL’s litigation and settlement in the class-action lawsuit involving over 1,000 former professional football players and their families regarding concussions and chronic brain trauma. The insurers are seeking to escape reimbursing the NFL, which could prompt further litigation. In oral arguments, a coalition of 28 insurers claimed that the NFL did not produce adequate discovery during litigation after its concussion settlement
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AP Photographers Moving Closer to the End Zone as a Deal in Their Copyright Battle is Close

The National Football League (NFL) appears to be close to finalizing a settlement with a number of Associated Press (AP) photographers regarding an ongoing dispute stemming from royalty payments. Counsel notified U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty on June 3, 2019 that the parties are in the process of finalizing a confidential settlement agreement. According to the letter, a motion to dismiss is expected within the next 45 days. The suit, brought by Paul Spinelli and six other photographers, alleged that the NFL exploited thousands…
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Judge Rules that Documentary’s Use of “Super Bowl Shuffle” Didn’t Violate Copyright

The U.S. District Court ruled on May 30, 2019 that a documentary’s feature of the “Super Bowl Shuffle” song in its film did not violate the song’s copyright. The fan-favorite rap song, performed by Walter Payton and other Chicago Bears players, was originally made famous in 1985, when the Bears won Super Bowl XX. Snippets of the song were used in the documentary “85: The Greatest Team in Football History,” a 2016 film by Scott Prestin celebrating the Chicago Bears’ championship season. The lawsuit was…
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Former NFL Players Challenge New Rules in Concussion Settlement Case

On April 24, 2019, a group of former NFL players challenged newly adopted medical rules in the ongoing NFL concussion settlement. As we have previously reported, in April 2015, Judge Brody approved a settlement between the NFL and almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped monetary fund for players who could prove certain neurological diagnoses. The settlement provided a $75 million “baseline assessment program” that provided eligible retired players with neurological examinations, a $10 million education fund to promote safety and…
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UPDATE: Fans Respond to NFL’s Move to Dismiss Controversial No-Call Lawsuit

On April 8, 2019, a group of New Orleans Saints responded to the NFL’s motion to dismiss the controversial no-call lawsuit. As you recall, a group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders sued the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell with the goal of reversing the New Orleans Saints’ overtime playoff loss in the 2019 NFC championship game. According to their suit, Saints fans were “left bereft and with no faith in the National Football League for fairness despite the leagues own rules to…
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