Legal Report: Injured Football Fans File Lawsuit, Meta’s Anti-Trust Investigation and More : Risk and Insurance


The latest court rulings, lawsuits and rulings that could impact risk management and insurance.

Injured fans sue Washington commanders

The case: After the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Washington Football Team (now the Commanders) in January 2022, a group of fans leaned over a railing at FedEx Field to kick five Eagles QB Jalen Hurts .

The railing collapsed and spectators fell.

Four people who were injured in the incident filed a lawsuit against the commanders in U.S. District Court in Maryland, “seeking at least $300,000 in damages for ‘physical and emotional suffering,'” according to NBC Sports. .

Scorecard: The case was recently filed and did not result in a resolution.

Carry: It wasn’t a long fall but the plaintiffs claim it was enough to do damage. They claim injuries including “cervical strains, muscle strains, bone bruises, cuts, headaches and ‘other potential long-term effects, both physical and emotional,'” according to NBC Sports.

Just days after the incident, Hurts wrote a letter to the NFL and the Washington team urging “the league and the organization to take steps to avoid any similar situation in the future”.

Tesla sued over autopilot and self-driving claims

The case: Briggs Matsko is pursuing a proposed class action against Tesla, alleging false advertising.

Matsko bought Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot package for $5,000 in 2018. He claims “Tesla has yet to produce anything even remotely approaching a fully self-driving car,” according to Reuters.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, seeks unspecified damages for those who have purchased or leased a Tesla since 2016.

Scorecard: The case was recently filed and did not result in a resolution.

Carry: Tesla is currently facing multiple allegations.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has accused Tesla of “overdoing the operation of its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS),” Reuters reported.

“Remedies could include suspending Tesla’s license in California and requiring restitution to drivers.”

Another class action lawsuit has been filed in California federal court “over a phantom brake issue,” according to The Verge. The lawsuit accuses Tesla of “fraudulently concealing security risks associated with the company’s Autopilot driver assistance system.”

The filing claims that “many Tesla owners have reported severe and unexpected slowing and stopping due to false engagement of their class vehicle’s brake systems, even when no objects were nearby.”

Prior to this claim, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent a “request for information” letter to Tesla regarding phantom braking incidents after receiving nearly 800 consumer complaints.

Google hits with 25 billion euro claim for abuse of digital advertising

The case: Two anti-competitive lawsuits “funded by litigation funding firms in the UK and the Netherlands” accuse Google of “anti-competitive conduct in the digital advertising market”, according to the Guardian.

The plaintiffs claim that Google abused its power in the ad tech market.

The total compensation sought of 25 billion euros “aims to recover lost advertising revenue due to Google’s alleged anti-competitive behavior over a period of years”, reported the Guardian.

Scorecard: The case was recently filed and did not result in a resolution.

Carry: While UK’s request is ‘opt-out’, EU’s request is ‘opt-in’ and could result in thousands of plaintiffs, say UK side lawyers.

Meanwhile, Alphabet just lost most of its appeal to overturn another massive EU antitrust fine, “a boost to the European Union’s campaign to curb alleged anti-competitive behavior by big tech companies.” , according to the Wall Street Journal.

The EU General Court “broadly upheld a 2018 decision by the EU competition regulator that fined Google $4.33 billion for allegedly abusing the market dominance of its competition system. ‘Android for mobile phones to promote and entrench its Google search engine and Chrome browser on mobile devices.’, according to the WSJ. Alphabet can still appeal the decision to the EU Court of Justice. .

Meta Defends Against FTC Antitrust Investigation

The case: The Federal Trade Commission has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Meta (formerly Facebook) after it acquired WhatsApp and Instagram.

According to Ars Technica, “The FTC said Meta began buying or burying competitors in efforts that would have prevented rivals from delivering higher quality products to consumers.”

The FTC wanted the “court to help them break up Meta and repair damages that the FTC did not foresee when it originally approved Meta’s acquisitions,” Ars Technica reported.

Scorecard: The case is ongoing and has not yet been resolved.

Carry: In an effort to defend its actions, Meta sued 132 competitors, “claiming that it needs to collect confidential trade secrets from its biggest competitors – not to leverage that knowledge and increase market share, but to demonstrate in court that other companies can compete with Meta,” according to Ars Technica.

“Among the rivals already subpoenaed include Twitter, TikTok owner ByteDance, Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snap.”

The FTC also subpoenaed over 100 competitors.

Snap, which was the only competitor named in the FTC lawsuit, has already pushed back. “Snap’s attorneys said what Meta actually wanted was access to Snap’s ‘competitive playbook,'” Ars Technica reported.

Both parties have until January 5, 2024 to conclude the discovery. &

Jared Shelly is a Philadelphia-based journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]

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