Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Jet Fans' Spygate Suit Heard by Third Circuit
Can a patron sue based on the lack of quality or fairness of a match? Maybe yes.
That question will be decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the latest twist to the infamous "spygate" affair. As many recall, this tempest concerned the actions of New England Patriots' employee who videotaped the Jet's defensive signals. The NFL, after fining the team and head coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000, thought the matter was over.
But not so fast. Two Jets fans (who are attorneys) pursued a novel legal claim. Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran, representing a class of Jets' season ticket holders, seek class action status and claim damages for the ticket price of the eight games played by the two teams in Giants' Stadium from 2000 to 2007. The trial court, in Mayer v. Belichick, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 23052, concluded that none of the causes of action -- which included tortious interference with contract, deceptive business practices, breach of contract and quasi-contract -- resulted in any actual injury and thereby dismissed the claim. The appeals court, however, apparently considered the plaintiff-appellants' claims seriously enough to grant argument.
Imagine the potential effect of a positive ruling by the court. Could it open the door for groups of fans to sue for their money back based on one team reading the catcher's signals or surreptitiously seeing diagrams of basketball plays. A fascinating and (maybe horrifying)thought.
For more, read here.
-- Posted by Mark Conrad @ Comments (3) -- Post a Comment 4/14/2010 09:13:00 AM --