SBD/October 23, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Judge Orders Super Bowl XLV Ticket Holders Suing NFL To Pay Cowboys $25,000

A federal judge ordered the eight Super Bowl XLV ticket holders suing the NFL over the temporary seating fiasco at the game to pay the Cowboys $25,025 for the cost to the team of meeting their discovery demands. The team had sought nearly $200,000. U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Harris Toliver said several factors weighed against making the plaintiffs pay, but there was enough legal basis to require the lower amount. “The Court concludes that it is unfair for either Plaintiffs or the non-party Cowboys to shoulder the full weight of these fees,” Toliver wrote. “The Cowboys should not be stuck with the entire bill simply because they vigorously attempted to protect their interests.” Originally, the Cowboys were a defendant in the lawsuit after it was filed following the '11 game at then Cowboys Stadium. The following year though, the Cowboys were dismissed as a defendant. The plaintiffs then sought from the club what the team termed broad discovery. Toliver noted in her decision the Cowboys contend that they searched over 23 gigabytes of information, which amounted to 200,000 e-mails and 560,000 pages of documents. She also noted that the judgment is against the plaintiffs, and not their counsel. The Cowboys had stated in a brief they were seeking reimbursement from counsel, not plaintiffs. Toliver wrote, “There are insufficient grounds for the Court to impose any reimbursement obligation on Plaintiffs’ counsel rather than Plaintiffs."
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