Law & Policy: Civil Actions
Marino Says Head is Injury-Free, Pulls Out of Lawsuit
by Hal Habib, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer June 2014
Dan Marino's concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL is ending. Marino issued a statement Tuesday saying he never intended to be among 15 former players added to a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia that claims the league was negligent and careless in its treatment of head trauma. Marino's statement, sent to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, confirmed a report by the South Florida Sun Sentinel that Marino, 52, wanted his name promptly removed. Marino said that, contrary to the suit, he is not suffering from head injuries from his 17 years as the Dolphins' quarterback.
Lawsuit Could Transform NCAA, College Athletics
by Mike Casazza June 2014
MORGANTOWN - The Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA goes to court June 9 and could forever change the look of intercollegiate athletics. Personally though, it was already real. Real personal, in fact, when EA Sports decided in September it would no longer make its college football game. Gone was symbol of a generation entertained and even educated by the digital versions of our Saturday saviors.
Marino Adds Stature to Concussion Lawsuit Against NFL
by Andrew Abramson Palm Beach Post Staff Writer June 2014
Dan Marino and 14 other lesser-known players added their names to the lawsuit in federal court last week in Philadelphia.
College Players Offered $40M in EA Sports Settlement
by Tim Dahlberg June 2014
The payouts could go to more than 100,000 athletes, including some current players, who were either on college rosters or had their images used in video games made by Electronic Arts featuring college teams. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said it would be the first time college athletes will be paid for the commercial use of their images.
Spanish Radio Voice Sues Lakers, Claiming Discrimination
by Bill Oram STAFF writer, The Orange County Register May 2014
The Spanish radio voice of the Lakers has filed a lawsuit against the team and its broadcast partner, TimeWarner Cable, that alleges 17 years of discrimination based on race and age.
After Long Battle, School Can Build on Former Golf Course
by KELCIE PEGHER firstname.lastname@example.org May 2014
The Key School can officially go ahead with a contested plan to build athletic fields on a former golf course, according to the latest court to hear the case. School officials said they are pleased the legal fight has been resolved and said their next steps would be to seek county permits and reach out to the Annapolis Roads community, which adjoins the planned facility.
Athletes' Unionization Attempt Scores Major Victory
by Michael Gaio March 2014
In their attempt to unionize college athletes, the Northwestern football players and the recently formed College Athletes Players Association scored a major victory on Wednesday.
Former WVU Football Player the Latest to Sue NCAA
by Michael Gaio March 2014
Former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston is the latest former student-athlete to sue the NCAA. Alston filed suit against the NCAA and college football's five major conferences on Wednesday, claiming they violated antitrust laws by agreeing to cap the value of an athletic scholarship at less than the actual cost of attending school.
Judge Sends O'Bannon Class Action Against NCAA to Trial
by Emily Attwood February 2014
Remember Ed O'Bannon, the former UCLA basketball player who filed suit against the NCAA more than four years ago, alleging it was profiting off of O’Bannon and other NCAA athletes’ likenesses found in EA Sports video games? After a long and winding road, a federal judge has okayed the class-action suit to go to trial, setting a start date of June 9.
While it is still possible a settlement between the NCAA and the plaintiffs will be reached prior to the start of the trial, the outcome of the lawsuit could have drastic consequences for the NCAA, college athletic conferences and television networks. At the heart of the lawsuit is the NCAA rule that prohibits student-athletes from profiting off of the use of their name, likeness or image.
"We're not asking for any money to be paid," said Michael Hausfeld, attorney for the plaintiffs, during a summary judgment hearing on Thursday. "We are asking for the restraint to be removed ... and then the market will determine how it plays out."
In January 2013, the lawsuit expanded to allow current athletes to join, as well as target other entities profiting off of athletes’ likenesses, including conferences and television networks. The plaintiffs are in the process of working out settlement details in their suit against EA Sports.
Thursday’s hearing took into account various arguments by both sides, including the NCAA’s assertion that the First Amendment protected it from requiring athletes’ permission to broadcast their appearances at games. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken also called into question whether the NCAA’s no-pay rule violated antitrust laws.
"Up to this point you always heard the NCAA argue that these restraints are lawful -- purportedly," Hausfeld said. "We're done with that. There's no presumptions. This court is saying if we go to trial, you're going to have to prove that."
Should a jury rule in favor of the plaintiffs, the results could bankrupt the NCAA, though a lengthy appeals process would first ensue. A less drastic outcome could result in concessions from both sides, with restrictions on athletes’ ability to profit from their likenesses removed or lessened, or schools agreeing to set aside a portion of revenues for athletes.
$1.7M Settlement Reached in P.E. Class Drowning
by Nick Daniels February 2014
More than one year after the tragic drowning of a high school student in Manchester, Conn., the Hartford Courant reported Sunday that a $1.7 million settlement had been reached between Malvrick Donkor’s family and the town of Manchester.
Donkor — a beginning swimmer — had been participating in a high school swimming class Nov. 21, 2012 when he left the shallow end of the pool for the deep end. Although other students had been swimming in the pool at the same time, no one noticed Donkor's absence until the end of class, by which time it was too late for the 14-year-old to be revived.
Despite a police investigation into the drowning after the incident, the police decided that there was no reason for a criminal prosecution. Donkor's family went on to file intent to sue for wrongful death and damages, alleging that school administrators failed."to protect, care, supervise, rescue and/or provide timely medical care."
“The settlement was in the best interests of the town and (Malvrick’s) estate,” Town Attorney Ryan Barry told the Courant. “We wish the family well.”
The drowning was the second by a Connecticut high school student in 2012, which has sparked a statewide effort to improve pool safety measures in high schools.