Monday, March 7, 2011

O-V-E-R OVER: Supreme Court Won't Hear Spygate/Jets Case

Yahoo! has reported that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a class action lawsuit arising from the 2007 Spygate/Patriots controversy.

During a September 9, 2007 game between the New York Jets and the Patriots at Giants Stadium, an employee of the Patriots was caught videotaping signals given by the Jets’ coaches. Ultimately, it was determined that this incident was part of a “scheme” dating back to 2000 when Belichick became the Patriots’ head coach.

The lawsuit alleged that by videotaping signals from the New York Jets' coaches, the Patriots had rigged the games against the Jets thereby cheating fans out of millions of dollars.

Mayer sued Bill Belichick, the Patriots and the NFL. Mayer alleged, in part, that the Patriots and Belichick interfered with ticket-holders’ contractual relations, committed fraud, violated consumer protection law, engaged in deceptive business practices and violated state and federal racketeering laws. Mayer also alleged that the NFL’s destruction of the videotapes was a breach of contract. Mayer sought, in part, actual damages of $61,600,000 which, under RICO and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, could have been tripled to a total of $184,800,000.

Both the district and appellate courts had previously dismissed the case. Basically, the Courts found that by virtue of his ticket, Mayer possessed nothing more than a contractual right to a seat from which to watch an NFL game between the Jets and the Patriots, and this right was clearly honored. The District Court wrote that "the uniform weight of established case law holds that a failure to satisfy the subjective expectations of spectators at a sporting event is not actionable under law".

The Court of Appeal was sensitive to a resulting cascade of lawsuits from disgruntled fans for things like stealing a catcher's signals.

Here's a copy of the Complaint as filed.

The U.S. Supreme Court didn't issue any reasons.

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