Judge Denies Reviving Patriots’ “Deflategate” Suit

The Massachusetts Appeals Court denied to revive the so-called “Deflategate” suit brought by a proposed class of New England Patriots fans, seeking damages and injunctive relief against the National Football League, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft. The suit stems from the highly controversial accusations against Tom Brady for his alleged role in the scheme to deflate footballs below the PSI range defined by league rules. Commissioner Goodell fined the Patriots $1 million, suspended Brady for four games, and took away…
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Arbitrator Denies Eric Reid’s Grievance Against Bengals

On October 23, 2018, it was announced that an arbitrator denied the National Football League Players Association’s (NFLPA) grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals. As we have previously reported, on July 11, 2018, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL over its national anthem policy. The policy, announced in May 2018, instructed players to either stand during the anthem or to not come out of the locker room until the anthem is over. In response, the NFLPA filed several non-injury grievances “on behalf…
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Junior Seau’s Family and the NFL Settle Wrongful Death Suit

On October 5, 2018, Junior Seau’s family settled their lawsuit with the NFL; however, the particulars of the settlement are confidential. As we have previously reported, Seau, who played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots, took his one life, at the age of 43, in 2012. An autopsy report showed that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a condition caused by repeated brain trauma. In 2013, Seau’s family filed a wrongful death and joined a class of…
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NFL Painkiller Class Action Resurrected by 9th Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a class action filed by former NFL players, sending the case back to federal court. The suit claims the NFL encouraged players to abuse painkillers, including opioids. In 2014, the lower court sided with the NFL, holding that the claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL team owners and athletes. Now, however, the 9th Circuit has…
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Kaepernick’s Grievance against the NFL to Advance

Colin Kaepernick’s case against the NFL will proceed to a full hearing, following an arbitrator’s decision on Thursday, August 30, 2018 to deny the NFL’s motion for summary judgment. The former 49ers quarterback accuses the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league since he became a free agent in March 2017, arguing that the organization refuses to hire him because of the national anthem protests Kaepernick initiated in 2016. Now, with the case going to a full, trial-like format, some team…
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Retired NFL Players Denied Class Certification in Copyright Lawsuit Against EA

On August 17, 2018, a group of retired NFL players was denied class certification in California Federal Court for the second time. As we have previously reported, the retired NFL players claimed that EA created physically and biographically similar avatars of the former NFL players and used them in their famous Madden NFL video game. According to the former players, EA used the player’s actual positions, teams, accurately pointed to the players’ retired statuses, and EA publicized their use by coining certain features of…
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Bizarre Inside Edition Lawsuit that Involves the Murder of a Former NFL Player

On August 6, 2018, Billups P. Percy sued Inside Edition Inc. after Inside Edition allegedly used Percy’s copyrighted video of Anthony Hayes. On December 26, 2005, Percy, a Louisiana-based photojournalist, video recorded Anthony Hayes wielding a knife while surrounded by New Orleans police officers. Hayes was shot and killed by a police officer after he lunged at a police lieutenant. Percy later registered the video with the U.S. Copyright Office and he was given rights to the video as the sole owner of all “right,…
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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 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 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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