Update: Arguments Heard on Special Investigator in NFL Concussion Settlement

As we have previously reported, the NFL continues to sort through the claimants involved in its billion dollar concussion settlement. The claimants are former NFL players and families of deceased players seeking to recover against the NFL for concussive injuries resulting from their time spent playing for the league. On May 30, 2018, counsel for the NFL, Richard Tarlowe, asked a Pennsylvania federal judge during arguments to bolster the investigation of legitimate claims by supplementing the process with an additional investigator. Recent audits completed…
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Former Houston Texans Cheerleader Files Class-Action Wage Suit

A former cheerleader for the Houston Texans has filed a putative class action suit against the Texans and the team’s cheerleading coach, Altovise Gary, claiming unpaid wages, wrongful termination, and other labor violations including a failure to remedy reports of physical abuse by fans. The named plaintiff, identified as P.G.G., has sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Texas Labor Code, seeking remuneration for hours spent working “off-the-clock” and unpaid overtime. P.G.G. worked as a Texans cheerleader from April 2017 to April 2018. In…
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Former NFL Player Sues NFLPA for ERISA Violation

On May 22, 2018, Christopher Hudson, a former Jacksonville Jaguar, Chicago Bear, and Atlanta Falcon safety, filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL Management Council, the National Football League Players Association, and the retirement board (defendants), alleging that a class of players suffering from various injuries were denied crucial information on how to request disability benefits under their retirement plan. Hudson’s lawsuit seeks recovery, under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), for a class of players who were beneficiaries of the Bert…
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NFL Issues Statement on Regulation of Sports Gambling

On Monday, May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that prohibited states from authorizing gambling on sports. The ruling opened the door for states to legalize and regulate the gambling industry within their borders. However, the ruling also leaves open the possibility that Congress will act to set national standards in the regulation of sports gambling. Indeed, shortly after the ruling was handed down, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) said that he will introduce legislation to regulate sports gambling on a federal…
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NFL Issues New Anthem Rules

On May 23, 2018, all 32 NFL team owners voted to approve a policy statement that would require players to stand during, and show respect for, the national anthem. However, if a player did not want to stand for the national anthem, then he must remain in the locker room. If a player decides to protest the national anthem by kneeling, or disrespecting the anthem or the flag in any way, then the team, not the player, will be fined. According to NFL Commissioner Roger…
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New York Giants and Quarterback Eli Manning Settle Memorabilia Fraud Lawsuit

New Jersey sports memorabilia dealer, Eric Inselberg, had established himself as a committed collector of New York Giants football mementos. He acquired countless items and donated more than $1 million worth of collectables to the team museum. However, his relationship with the team soured in the years leading up to a 2014 lawsuit between himself, the Giants, and Eli Manning. Days before the case was set to hit trial, an agreement was reached to settle the dispute arising out of the sale of Eli Manning…
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Medical Marijuana Puts an NFL Player’s Career in Limbo

In 2013 NFL running back Mike James was playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. During the opening drive of the game, James broke his ankle after an opposing player fell on his foot, causing his ankle to be twisted awkwardly. James was rolling on the ground in excoriating pain and was later carted off the field with a left ankle injury. Surgery, a metal rod, and medal wires were needed to repair his ankle, and after the surgery, James was…
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Former NFL Cheerleaders Offer to Settle Discrimination Suit for $1 and a Meeting

On April 24, 2018, two former NFL cheerleaders voiced their willingness to settle their discrimination dispute with the NFL on two conditions. The cheerleaders determined that they would both stop pursuing their claims in court if league commissioner, Roger Goodell, would sit down with them for a four-hour, good-faith meeting and pay just $1 to each. The meeting would involve plaintiffs Kristan Ware and Bailey Davis, as well as several other cheerleaders who were not involved in the suit, but who are connected to the…
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NFL Seeks Special Investigator to Query Fraud in Billion Dollar Concussion Settlement

On April 13, 2018, the NFL filed a motion seeking the appointment of a special investigator to more closely examine potentially fraudulent concussion claims that may be “clogging the system” of the $1 billion settlement. Of the 2,000 plus claims submitted to date, about 46 percent indicate the presence of fraud, according to the motion. The NFL maintains that a new investigator will have the appropriate resources to uncover intentional fraud, which the current claims administrator does not have the capacity to do. Specifically, the…
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EA Still on the Hook for NFL Likeness Misuse; Wins on Sanctions Motion in the Meantime

As we have previously reported, Electronic Arts Inc. continues to be under fire for trying to evade responsibility for its alleged unauthorized use of thousands of NFL players’ likenesses in its video games, most notably in Madden NFL. On March 29, 2018, the retired players filed a motion in opposition to EA’s third attempt at summary judgment. According to the retired players’ motion, they represent a proposed class of over 7,500 other retired NFL players who claim to have been similarly aggrieved by EA’s…
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