The court granted the PGA Tour’s motion

HOLDINGS: [1]-The court granted the PGA Tour’s motion to dismiss a proposed class action brought by caddies, claiming that the Tour could not require them to wear bibs providing publicity during tournaments without compensation, because the contract they signed required them to wear uniforms prescribed by the tour, and they knew of this requirement when they entered the profession; [2]-Theory of economic duress was rejected because allegation that they were coerced on threat of extreme economic hardship was not plausible; [3]-Right of publicity claims failed because there was no lack of consent where the contract allowed the Tour to require the bibs and assigned the Tour their media rights; [4]-Lanham Act false endorsement claim failed because use of their identities was not unauthorized where the only plausible interpretation of the parties’ agreement was that the caddies consented.

 

Outcome

Lawyers for lawsuit Orange County CA represent plaintiffs and defendants in civil lawsuits. They manage all phases of the litigation from the investigation, pleadings, pre-trial, trial, settlement, and appeal processes. Motion to dismiss granted, motion to strike denied.

 

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff lost his Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and state law action against defendants on the merits. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California awarded attorney’s fees and costs to defendants, holding plaintiff, plaintiff’s attorneys, and the attorneys’ law firm, jointly and severally liable for the award. The attorneys and their law firm appealed the award of attorney’s fees and costs.

 

Overview

The parties agreed that the district court erred in awarding attorney’s fees and costs under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 by not following the rule’s requirements. For purposes of the appeal, the court assumed without deciding that plaintiff’s action was brought in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment within the meaning of 15 U.S.C.S. § 1692k(a)(3). However, the court held that attorney’s fees and costs may not be awarded against a plaintiff’s attorney under 15 U.S.C.S. § 1692k(a)(3). There was a general presumption that an attorney was generally not liable for fees unless that prospect was spelled out, and Congress failed to indicate any intention to authorize the award of attorney’s fees and costs against attorneys representing debtors in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

 

Outcome

The award of attorney’s fees and costs was reversed.




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