SBD/July 22, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Asks Dallas Court To Stay Ruling Regarding Deposition Of Roger Goodell

The NFL asked a Dallas Federal Court to stay its ruling that ticketholders suing the NFL over the Super Bowl XLV temporary seating fiasco can depose Commissioner Roger Goodell. The league also asked of the court that if it would not immediately stay the ruling, then to expedite a hearing on the matter before the court-ordered Aug. 5 deadline for the deposition. The main argument for the NFL is that the day before the court ordered Goodell be made available for deposition, it denied class action status to the lawsuit. “The Order ... did not consider that the denial of class certification dramatically reduced the amount in controversy in this case,” the league argued in its stay motion. “This is no longer a putative class case seeking to recover millions of dollars on behalf of thousands of claimants; it is an eight person case with relatively small amounts of alleged damages.” Last week after the class certification decision, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for the ticketholders, wrote in an e-mail to SportsBusiness Journal that the case remained large because there is a second ticketholders lawsuit pending in the Dallas court. Asked if he planned to continue his efforts in light of the court’s class certification decision, he wrote, “Yes, together with the hundreds of others we represent in the other case. We value the two cases at well over $60 million.”
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