In response to the lawsuit filed by several former members of the Buffalo Jills against various defendants, the Buffalo Bills filed a motion to dismiss the case, claiming that they do not actually employ the cheerleading squad.
In that initial skirmish, the Bills have done what they often do on the football field. They’ve lost.
Judge Timothy J. Drury has concluded that the question of whether the Bills employ the Jills can’t be decided without considering some of the facts of the case. Which makes it impossible to throw the case out at the opening stage of the process.
“Judge Drury’s decision denied the Bills’ scheme to insulate themselves from the illegal cheerleading operation,” lawyer Marc Panepinto said in a press release. “We will now have the opportunity to prove the unlawful wage practices by the Bills and their contractors. However, we remain hopeful that all parties can now begin a discussion about settling these cases, and move forward into a successful football season.”
Based on the facts developed during the litigation, it’s possible that the Bills will prove that they did not actually employ the Jills. Regardless, the public identifies the Jills as part of the overall Bills operation, and if the Jills were not being properly paid and/or mistreated while on the job, it’s a bad reflection on the team, regardless of the lengths taken by the team to protect itself from the notion that it has any legal responsibility for the squad.