Tarnished Twenty - The FindLaw Sports Law Blog - features sports law news and info about sports figures in trouble with the law

There are, as of this writing, still two active lawsuits against the NFL and/or its member teams regarding the prescription of painkillers to players. Dent v. NFL was filed in the District Court of Northern California in May 2014 and claimed the league withheld medical information from players, oversaw acquisition and dispensing of medications, and violated state and federal prescription drug laws. A year later, Etopia Evans v. Arizona Cardinals was filed in Maryland but moved to the same court and judge as Dent. The Evans case makes many of the same legal claims as Dent, but against the member teams instead of the league.

In addition, the NFL Players Association recently filed a grievance against the league, citing the same factual allegations as the lawsuits, but claiming these actions violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the Players Association. So how does the grievance differ from the lawsuits? And how might it affect existing litigation?

Good news for those that love buying signed collectibles: As of January 1, 2017, dealers in the state of California that sell signed collectibles are now required to provide a certificate of authenticity for any signed collectible worth over $5. While the law doesn't apply to private individuals conducting sales, there are still several concerns about the new law for consumers.

Whether it is a piece of fine art, a Jeremy Bulloch signed Star Wars action figure, some ultra-rare Christopher Rush signed Magic: the Gathering cards, or a signed Darryl Strawberry rookie card, if it's worth more than $5, a collectibles dealer risks serious legal consequences by not providing the legally required and rather specific certificate of authenticity. While California consumers may benefit from decreased fraud in the signed collectibles market, the law will likely impact many dealers' ability to even sell signed items moving forward.

A courtside employee at the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls play, is suing the beloved and fuzzy Benny the Bull mascot due to an injury she suffered literally at the costumed hand of Benny the Bull. The lawsuit seeks over $50,000 in damages stemming from an incident that occurred in May 2015.

The employee, Rosa Garcia, was working as a courtside server/waiter when, during a break in the game, Benny the Bull was running down the side of the court when he hurt his ankle. While being helped off the court by another person, and limping, Benny put his hand on Ms. Garcia's shoulder to use her as a support and lift himself up. Ms. Garcia, as a result, suffered a severe enough injury to her shoulder to require medical treatment.

A federal lawsuit against the Davis School District in Utah sought to overturn a school policy that prevented a female student from wrestling on her school's team, and succeeded in doing just that, and more. In addition to being allowed to join her school's team, the teen will receive a monetary award, and the district will be paying the attorney's and legal fees. 

Kathleen Janis was denied the right to wrestle on her middle school team, as the district's policy required middle school girls that wanted to wrestle to do so with the high school team. For Janis to do so, she would have to miss part of her school day, and would be put into a more advanced group than she was prepared for. However, after filing a federal lawsuit, she was successful in securing a court ordered preliminary injunction allowing her to participate on the 9th grade team while the case was pending.

We often use sports as an escape from real life. And every now and then, real life intrudes into the games. That's what happened when a stray bullet found its way into Busch Stadium Tuesday night, grazing a female fan's arm and came to a stop underneath her seat.

Thankfully, the woman was not seriously injured, and according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has already retained the services of an attorney.

Being a professional cheerleader ain't easy. Most are ludicrously underpaid, constantly body-shamed, and a federal appeals court even ruled that cheerleading is not a sport. Cheerleaders are overworked, underpaid, and held to physical appearance standards that are either impossible to meet or leave many of them with eating disorders.

But lately, professional cheerleaders are turning to the courts for protection, suing teams and even leagues for wage suppression and other employment law violations. And they're winning, out of court at least. Former Milwaukee Bucks cheerleader Lauren Herington just settled her lawsuit against the team last week, in a deal that could be good for her and her former teammates.

If you were to steal someone's golf cart after assaulting them, crash said golf cart into a gate, then refuse to cooperate with police officers while slinging misogynistic and homophobic slurs their way, you would probably be arrested on suspicion of a laundry list of criminal offenses: robbery, auto theft, criminal damage, resisting arrest, and driving under the influence among them. If you're lucky, prosecutors might whittle those charges down to a couple felonies (theft of a means of transportation and resisting arrest with physical force), charge the assault as a misdemeanor, and leave the DUI for city court.

And if you're Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman David Parry, you might strike a plea deal avoiding any jail time at all by pleading guilty to just one count of disorderly conduct and one count of attempted unlawful means of transportation.

A high school football star might not be allowed play his senior year of high school ball due to pending felony robbery charges. This is the case despite the fact that he's rumored to have a pending scholarship offer from a Division I school and is expected to be highly recruited. Shelley Singletary, along with another teen, is alleged to have robbed an 11-year-old boy of his Air Jordan sneakers and bicycle. Singletary, while pending resolution of the charges, has essentially been under house arrest since being released from custody.

While the court has stated that it will not object to Singletary participating in football practice while wearing the home arrest ankle monitor, the high school has stated that he has not been cleared by the school to participate, and that Singletary is not currently affiliated with the team.

An NHL official who was working as a lineman during a regular season game between the Calgary Flames and the Nashville Predators is suing a player after sustaining severe on-ice injuries during the game. The ref is seeking $250,000 in damages related to his injuries, plus another $10 million for loss of current and future income. The incident occurred over a year ago now, and was captured on camera.

The video does not paint a sympathetic picture for the player being sued. Dennis Wideman is seen on the video slowly skating up ice, then lifting up his stick and arms, and cross checking the lineman in the back. The ref fell down hard, face first. Wideman was initially suspended for 20 games, but after a review, the suspension was reduced to only 10 games after it was determined to not be an intentional assault by the league's examiner.

While the thought of an injury occurring to a person practicing yoga may seem improbable, it is more common than one might expect. Among the most common injuries include joint and muscle injuries, and injuries related to falls.

Often, yoga injuries, unlike CrossFit injuries, do not immediately manifest, but occur over time. However, sometimes, the injury can be the result of a yogi pushing their student too far or too hard. Like any other injury that occurs at a gym, or under the supervision of a personal trainer or class instructor, whether or not a legal claim can be made will depend on the particular facts involved, and potentially a liability waiver.