Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

December 2016 Archives

The case of Mike Peluso, the former NHL player on the infamous New Jersey Devils "Crash Line" filed a workers' compensation claim in California in 2012. The claim is a result of the repeated concussions he sustained while being one of the team's most prolific enforcers. Recently, it has come to light that Devils' administration withheld crucial medical documents and information from Peluso, both while he was an active member of the team and as part of his workers comp claim.

Peluso, who is only 50 years old, now suffers from dementia, as well as a condition that causes him to have seizures, and numerous other symptoms relating to memory and brain function. His doctors assert that the condition was caused by the repeated concussions, and that he should have been warned about the extreme danger of continuing to experience head traumas.

Phil Ivey, a World Series of Poker professional player that has won more than $6 million on the tour, and over $19 million from playing online poker, has run into some legal trouble with an Atlantic City casino. The poker pro, who calls himself the Tiger Woods of poker (maybe he might want to reconsider that one), along with an accomplice, in 2012, used a technique known as "edge sorting" in order to win/scam $9.6 million playing baccarat at the Bargota.

It seems he would have gotten away with it. However, in 2014, a London casino discovered that Ivey and his accomplice were edge sorting. In addition to the two not being paid their winnings in London, the Borgata in Atlantic City took notice, reviewed their losses, and filed suit.

Nagging litigation between the National Football League and retired players over treatment of concussions might finally be drawing to a close. The two sides first reached a settlement over three years ago, but the settlement itself has been contentious, with hundreds of former players opting out of the settlement to file their own lawsuits and a judge even saying that the initial settlement amount of $765 million wasn't enough.

But, finally, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to review the settlement, meaning it could go into effect as early as March, when the NFL will begin paying out around $1 billion over the next 65 years.

In recent years, the debate over whether NCAA athletes should receive compensation for playing sports has gotten hot. Although it is recognized that college sports, especially football and basketball, generate massive piles of money for colleges across the country, paying student athletes is often regarded as taboo.

This week, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court denying student athletes minimum wage under the FLSA, and denying that student athletes are even employees. The former student athletes that filed suit claimed that their participation was nearly indistinguishable from a full time job. The courts were not convinced.

On Thursday of last week, former NFL player Joe McKnight was gunned down in the middle of the day during an alleged road rage incident in Louisiana. Friends, family, fans, and the local community are still mourning the loss of the 28-year-old McKnight. Despite police having obtained a confession, the shooter has been released.

While law enforcement has warned that media reports of the story are inaccurate, witness descriptions provided to the media immediately after explain that the shooter pulled McKnight out of his car, then stood over McKnight and fired three shots. Law enforcement pointed out that McKnight was shot three times, once in the chest, once in the hand, and once in the shoulder.

Swimmer Ryan Lochte may just be a fish both in and out of water. He is currently facing criminal charges in a Brazilian court as a result of lying to the police while in the country for the Summer Games. He was offered a plea deal that would have ended the whole fiasco with merely a fine, but, for some inexplicable reason, he rejected the offer. He potential faces some time in a Brazilian jail.

The Olympian falsely claimed that he and three fellow swimmers were robbed at a gas station while returning home from a night of clubbing. However, his tale of woe was quickly discovered to be a tale of lies. Just like in the USA, lying to police in Brazil is a crime. After Lochte lied to the police, it was learned that Lochte and his swimming buds had actually urinated on the gas station and broken the bathroom door.

While no one expected a repeat of the 1995 Major League Baseball strike, labor negotiations came down to the wire between the MLB and player representatives this week. With little more than 24 hours before the prior player agreement was set to expire, the players and management were able to agree to terms for another five year renewal. Surprisingly though, one of the terms of the new deal prohibits new players from using chewing tobacco, also known as chew, dip, and smokeless tobacco.

This year the family of Tony Gwynn, the famous San Diego Padres player that passed away a few years back due to cancer in his salivary glands, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers of the smokeless tobacco products. Gwynn's cancer was attributed largely to his 30+ years of using chewing tobacco. While Gwynn's untimely death at the age of 54 can't be undone, the MLB seems to be taking a big step toward disassociating chewing tobacco from baseball, which has been used by players since the very beginning.