Riddell Fights Hundreds of Remand Motions

On January 19, 2018, Riddell Sports Group, Inc. opposed a class of former National Football League players’ motion to remand. Riddell is a sports equipment company that specializes in football equipment, particularity football helmets. The players are a part of a massive multidistrict litigation proceeding that is suing Riddell and the NFL. According to the motion, for the past six years, the players have been preceding under one master complaint that controlled all of their claims and superseded their original complaints. In addition, the players had already moved to transfer their master complaint from state court to federal court.

According to the January 19, 2018 motion, over the past six years the players have consistently asserted that Pennsylvania federal court has federal subject-matter jurisdiction over their claims and the parties. However, now the players are attempting to remand their actions back to various state courts, arguing that the Pennsylvania federal court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction. A total of 679 remand motions were filed.

In response to the motions to remand, Riddell argued that the player’s own master compliant alleged that the Pennsylvania court had subject-matter jurisdiction. Second, Riddell argued that the court has jurisdiction over the claims based on Labor Management Relations Act Section 301 preemption. Under the preemption, Riddell filed two motions to dismiss, and according to Riddell, the court must resolve their preemption motions prior to ruling on the player’s jurisdictional issue. Third, according to Riddell, only one set of players addressed the issue of supplemental jurisdiction. Riddell argued that since most of the player’s claims against the NFL have been dismissed, there is no longer a federal claim, and claims against Riddell are supplemental. Fourth, Riddell claimed that the player’s filings are “rife with errors, inconsistencies, misstatements, and other improprieties that render it impossible for the court to rule on them.” Finally, Riddell claimed that the “remand cannot precede an individualized analysis as to each individual’s claim, including the required severance of the plaintiffs’ claims from each other.”

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