Justia Class Action Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Entertainment & Sports Law
In re: NFL Players Concussion Injury Litigation
Thousands of retired professional football players sued the National Football League and other defendants alleging primarily that the defendants failed to take reasonable actions to protect players from the risks associated with concussive and sub-concussive head injuries. The cases were consolidated and the district court “preliminarily approved” a proposed class-action settlement agreement and “conditionally certified for settlement purposes only” the settlement class and subclasses. Seven retired professional football players who object to the proposed settlement agreement and class certification, filed a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) petition for permission to appeal. The Third Circuit dismissed finding that the order was not an “order granting or denying class-action certification” under the plain text of the rule permitting interlocutory review. View "In re: NFL Players Concussion Injury Litigation" on Justia Law
Eller, et al. v. NFL Players Assoc., et al.
This case concerned the 2011 NFL lockout. Active NFL players filed a class action suit (Brady suit) against the NFL, alleging violations of the federal antitrust laws and other claims. Retired NFL players also filed suit against the NFL and its teams, alleging antitrust violations (Eller I suit). After both actions were consolidated, the Brady suit was settled, the players re-designated the NFLPA as their collective bargaining agent, the NFL and NFLPA signed a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) incorporating the settlement terms, the Brady plaintiffs dismissed their action, the lockout ended, and the 2011 NFL season commenced. Carl Eller and other retired NFL players (plaintiffs) then filed this class action (Eller II) against the NFLPA and others. The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss and plaintiffs appealed, alleging claims for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage under Minnesota law. The court concluded that no reasonable jury could find that plaintiffs had a reasonable expectation of a prospective separate contractual relation with the NFL that would provide more than the increased benefits provided in the 2011 CBA. Even if plaintiffs alleged a reasonable expectation of prospective contractual relations or economic advantage with the NFL, plaintiffs failed to allege facts proving that defendants improperly or wrongfully interfered with these advantageous prospects. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Eller, et al. v. NFL Players Assoc., et al." on Justia Law
In re: NCAA Licensing Litig.
Former starting quarterback for Arizona State University, Samuel Keller, filed a putative class action suit against EA, alleging that EA violated his right of publicity under California Civil Code 3344 and California common law by using Keller's likeness as part of the "NCAA Football" video game series. EA moved to strike the complaint as a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) under California's anti-SLAPP statute, Cal. Civ. Proc. Code 425.16. The court concluded that EA could not prevail as a matter of law based on the transformative use defense where EA's use did not qualify for First Amendment protection because it literally recreated Keller in the very setting in which he had achieved renown. The court also concluded that, although there was some overlap between the transformative use test and the Rogers v. Grimaldi test, the Rogers test should not be imported wholesale to the right-of-publicity claims. Finally, the court concluded that state law defenses for reporting of information did not protect EA's use. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's denial of the motion to strike the complaint. View "In re: NCAA Licensing Litig." on Justia Law
Redbox Automated Retail, LLC v. Sterk
Redbox rents DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and video games from automated retail kiosks and was sued under the Video Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 2710. The district court held that Act provisions requiring destruction of records containing personally identifiable information can be enforced by suit for damages. After deciding to accept the interlocutory appeal because it will materially advance the ultimate termination of the class action, the Seventh Circuit reversed. The court noted the placement of the damages remedy in the statute, after description of a prohibitions on knowing disclosure of personally identifiable information, but before prohibition on use of such information before tribunals or the record-destruction mandate. The court also noted the "unsuitability" of those provisions to damage awards.View "Redbox Automated Retail, LLC v. Sterk" on Justia Law