Judge Recuses Himself from TCPA Lawsuit Against Tampa Bay Rays

After consulting with an ethics opinion, Florida U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli recused himself from a proposed class action lawsuit, which accuses the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending spam text messages. According to the order, Judge Porcelli stated that he “. . . find[s] it appropriate to recuse myself from these proceedings, as my impartiality might be reasonably questioned.” Specifically, Judge Porcelli admittedly communicated with several members of the Rays organization when he was…
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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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In Pursuit of Class Certification against EA, Retired NFL Players Cite Bette Midler

The retired NFL players suing Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) are citing an unexpected figure in their continued efforts to gain class certification: singer Bette Midler. The athletes’ action against EA began in 2010, over the company using their likeness in the video games, arguing that, while EA pays the NFL players union when featuring the names and likeness of current players, EA failed to compensate retired players in the same fashion. A federal judge recently ruled against the athletes, refusing to certify their case as…
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Under Armour Seeks Arbitration in Data Breach Case

On May 21, 2018, the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider reported a putative class action suit filed against Under Armour, relating to a March 2018 data breach of the company’s MyFitnessPal app. On June 28, 2018, Under Armour filed a motion to compel arbitration, along with a motion to dismiss or stay litigation. In the filing, Under Armour alleges that the named plaintiff, Rebecca Murray, expressly agreed to “a conspicuous arbitration provision” when she registered and used the MyFitnessPal app. The Terms and Conditions of…
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Misrepresentation of Baseball Bat Weight Sparks Class Action Suit

Easton Baseball / Softball, Inc. is a top manufacturer of baseball and softball products, has been subjected to a class action suit filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California. After discovering that the baseball bat he purchased for his son was heavier than advertised, plaintiff Ricky Wisdom is seeking to stop the sale of incorrectly weighted bats and recover damages for consumers paying a premium for Easton’s products. Easton has acquired a strong reputation in the sporting goods industry for…
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Under Armour Sued in Latest Data Breach Case

In April 2018, Rebecca Murray filed a putative class action suit against Under Armour relating to the March 2018 data breach of Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal nutrition and fitness app. On Tuesday, May 15, 2018 Under Armour filed a notice of removal transferring the case to federal court in the Central District of California Murray v. Under Armour, 2:18-CV-04032. The case arises from a data breach which Under Armour announced in late March 2018. Under Armour said that the breach affected an estimated $150…
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Ruling on Field Stands for Changes to Claims Process in NFL Concussion Settlement

A Pennsylvania federal judge upheld the approval of a claims administrator’s changes in the way a multidistrict NFL concussion settlement was implemented. The 16 retired players who filed the motion for reconsideration argued that the court should review its Nov. 2 decision that they cannot interfere with the claims process. The former players again argued the requirements for qualifying for a monetary reward were altered from the original settlement agreement. The court denied the motion Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 without a memorandum. The retired players…
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Wilson Hopes Class Action Suit Will be a Swing and a Miss

On Wednesday, June 7, 2017, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. asked an Illinois Federal Court to dismiss a putative class action suit involving their DeMarini youth baseball bats. The original suit was filed in April by parent Theodore Sheeley. Sheeley purchased a DeMarini youth baseball bat for his son who plays in leagues and tournaments in which all bats must follow USSSA standards. The DeMarini bat Sheeley purchased included the all-important silver sticker, which is reserved for bats that meet all USSSA regulations. Sheeley argues that…
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Plaintiffs Strike Out in Suit Seeking to Extend MLB Stadium Safety Netting

Plaintiffs’ hopes of extending the foul ball safety net further down the first- and third-base lines at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums were dashed recently when a California U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing. The plaintiffs’, Oakland Athletics fan Gail Payne and Los Angeles Dodgers fan Stephanie Smith, claim that the extension of the safety net was required to protect fans from injuries caused by foul balls and broken bats, but U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found the…
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One of These Things is Not Like The Other: Electronic Arts and Retired NFL Players Argue Over Class Certification in Likeness Suit

On September 22, 2016, Electronic Arts and retired NFL players who claim that “Madden NFL” uses their likeness without permission argued over class certification in a California federal court. At the hearing, the parties debated whether publicity is a property right and the feasibility of ascertaining thousands of players’ avatars. The players’ attorney, Brian Douglas Henri, stated that suit was properly brought under California state law, reasoning that EA’s headquarters are in the Bay Area. Judge Richard Seeborg questioned why state law should apply when…
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