Class Action Suit Brought Against EA over Retired Players in Madden

August 3, 2010 -

In litigation very similar to one brought previously by NFL Hall of Fame member Jim Brown, another ex-professional football player has filed a lawsuit against Electronic Arts, alleging that the game maker used the likenesses of retired NFL players illegally in its Madden NFL series of videogames.

The new suit, filed by Michael E. Davis (pictured in his playing days), aka Tony Davis, was filed in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California on July 29, and is of the class action variety, seeking damages on behalf of the “approximately 6,000 retired NFL players whose likenesses were included in the ‘historic teams’ in all versions and editions of Madden” sold between July 29, 2008 and the present.

Davis, who now resides in Colorado, played six seasons in the NFL as a running back and kick returner, spending three seasons apiece with the Cincinnati Bengals (1976-1978) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1979-1981). The lawsuit claims EA’s use of the likenesses of retired players in its games violates Davis’ statutory and common law rights of publicity under California law, in addition to being unlawful and/or wrongful, causing EA to “be unjustly enriched.”

The lawsuit also called EA’s “commercial exploitation” of retired NFL players both “blatant and prolific.”

Davis notes that in 1979, when he played with the Bucs in his fourth year, he was 26 years old, 5’11” in height, weighed 215 pounds and wore number 27. In Madden 09, Davis claims that a halfback for the 1979 Tampa Bay team appeared, with the same age, height, weight and pro experience—the only difference being the virtual player’s number (#37). Davis claims that despite the “scrambled” jersey numbers of retired players in the games, consumers “will have no difficulty identifying who the ‘historic’ players are.”

Excluded from the class action suit are ex-NFL participants whose “virtual players’ height is not within two inches of the player’s roster height, and the virtual player’s weight is not within 10% of the player’s roster weight.”

The suit seeks actual damages, statutory damages and punitive damages for every member of the class, in addition to the “disgorgement of all profits attributable to the use of Class Members’ likenesses earned by EA.”

Grab a copy of the complaint here (PDF).

Bonus: watch Davis score the only receiving touchdown of his NFL career here (WMV).


Comments

Re: Class Action Suit Brought Against EA over Retired ...

He should have filed this lawsuit BEFORE the last one was awarded in EA's favor.  Now, EA has legal precedent.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Who's responsible for crappy Netflix performance on Verizon?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Matthew Wilson@pm I doubt it. Google seems to be distancing themselves from G+07/25/2014 - 9:31pm
Papa MidnightGoogle+ Integration is coming to Twitch!07/25/2014 - 8:41pm
MaskedPixelanteThis whole Twitch thing just reeks of Google saying "You thought you could get away from us and our policies. That's adorable."07/25/2014 - 2:52pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - hopefully that's the case, but I wont hold my breath for it to happen.07/25/2014 - 1:08pm
SleakerUpdate on crytek situation is a bit ambiguous, but I'm glad they finally said something: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-07-25-crytek-addresses-financial-situation07/25/2014 - 1:07pm
E. Zachary KnightMan Atlas, Why do you not want me to have any money? Why? http://www.atlus.com/tears2/07/25/2014 - 12:06pm
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle is better than MS or Amazon.07/24/2014 - 5:33pm
Sleaker@AE - I've never seen youtube as a great portal to interact with people from a comment perspective. like ever. The whole interface doesn't really promote that.07/24/2014 - 5:28pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician