NFL mum on Hall of Fame Game lawsuit

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Five days ago, a nationwide class-action lawsuit was filed against the Hall of Fame and the NFL for the cancellation of the annual preseason game in Canton, Ohio. To date, the NFL has said nothing about it.

More than a day after PFT requested comment from the league regarding the litigation and the unique settlement offer made by lawyer Michael Avenatti on Monday morning, the NFL has not responded.

A far more important response is owed to Avenatti by 12:01 p.m. ET on Friday, August 19, at which time the offer to settle the case for payment of $450 per ticket holder, with no fees or expenses for the lawyers, will expire. With a capacity of 22,375 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, that’s a total payout of just over $10 million — likely less than the NFL would pay to defend itself and to resolve the claims, especially when considering that anywhere from $1.9 million to $2.5 million will be paid to reimburse the costs of tickets.

So it’s an extra $7.5 million for the NFL over what the league already will pay, which surely is less than what would be spent through the conclusion of the case.

Still, it would be a shock if the NFL accepts the offer. It’s simply not in the DNA of the league or any other business of that size to blink at such an early stage of litigation. Which makes the approach from the perspective of the plaintiffs such a great P.R. move. If anyone claims that Avenatti and his clients are being greedy, the response is simple: We were ready to make this all go away a long time ago, for a lot less money.

The maneuver from Avenatti isn’t without risk. His commitment to take no fee coupled with the time needed to administer the settlement of a 22,375-person class means that his firm will be doing a considerable amount of pro bono work to wrap this thing up, if the NFL accepts the offer.

The fact that the NFL is highly unlikely to accepts the offer makes that a safe wager of Avenatti’s effort and time.

8 responses to “NFL mum on Hall of Fame Game lawsuit

  1. Not buying into the pro bono aspect. He wants to be the class action king of cancelled shows throughout the country. He will be the one who took the NFL to their knees.
    U.S. Open gets washed out for a day- sue. Celine Dion gets sick in Vegas – sue. Any event that a lot of people had booked travel and accommodations for. There will always be some last minute cancellations.
    In a very short period, one could expect The Man from U.N.C.L.E pitching late night decrees to call Michael Avenetti.

  2. This is ECA 101, but the NFL would rather drop $15M in over-inflated rates with Paul Weiss, Covington, and, since it’s in Ohio, Jones Day, Baker Hostetler, and Squire Sanders.

  3. More than a day after PFT requested comment from the league regarding the litigation and the unique settlement offer made by lawyer Michael Avenatti on Monday morning, the NFL has not responded.

    LOL…Have you not yet figured out that you don’t rate?

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