Becoming Representative Plaintiffs: NBA Players Follow the Lead of NFL Players

Professional Basketball Players File Suit

On November 15, 2011, Carmelo Anthony, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Durant and other professional basketball players became representative plaintiffs in class action lawsuits against the NBA and its independently owned and operated professional basketball teams.  Subsequently, on November 21, 2011, fourteen professional basketball players joined forces as representative plaintiffs in their first amended class action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, while voluntarily dismissing a similar class action filed in a California federal court.

The Focus of the NBA Case: NBA Player Contracts

The players accuse the NBA and its thirty teams of antitrust law violations, breach of contract, and tortious interference with prospective contractual relations and contracts, including an ongoing group boycott, price fixing, and the imposition of other anticompetitive restrictions.  The representative plaintiffs seek a ruling in their favor, monetary damages for themselves and other members of the class, and payment for costs and disbursements in the case.

NBA Case Follows One Filed by NFL Players

This antitrust lawsuit follows one filed earlier this year by star professional football players Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and other players, who also opted to become representative plaintiffs in a class action.  The players claimed the NFL and its member teams violated federal antitrust, contract, and tort laws following the breakdown of lengthy and contentious NFL labor negotiations.

As representative plaintiffs in these cases, both the NBA and NFL major league professional athletes are fighting for their own rights as well as the rights of all similarly situated professional athletes.  If their efforts in these cases are successful, all players are expected to benefit.

Similarly, as a shareholder, consumer, or employee, you too can serve as a representative plaintiff when your rights have been violated.  You can help bring about change for your own benefit as well as the benefit of others.  To learn more about becoming a representative plaintiff, contact us via our website or call us at (619) 525-3990 for more information.

The NBA case is Butler v. NBA, No. 11-cv-03352-PJS-SER, and the NFL case is Brady v. NFL, No. 11-cv-00639-PJS-JJG.  Both cases were filed in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota on November 15, 2011, and March 11, 2011, respectively.

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