Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sullivan v. National Football League case brief

Sullivan v. National Football League case brief summary
34 F.3d 1091 (1994)

Appellant football association challenged a jury verdict rendered in favor of appellee owner from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts finding appellant's regulations in restraint of trade under §1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C.S. §§ 1-2.

Appellee owner sought to sell a portion of his football franchise to the public due to financial difficulties. However, as a result of appellant football association's rules and restrictions, appellee sold his franchise to a private buyer. In an effort to recoup profits he could have made through a public offering, appellee filed an action alleging that appellant violated §1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act (Act), 15 U.S.C.S. §§ 1-2, by restraining trade through its regulations. Litigation ensued and pursuant to a jury verdict a district court granted appellee a substantial award. Appellant challenged this verdict, arguing that appellee failed to prove the presence of injury to competition, a required element under the Act.

Upon final determination, the court reversed and remanded the decision, holding that a new trial was required because the district court improperly allowed evidence concerning the fairness of appellant's policy, instead of manners concerning trade restraints.


The court reversed and vacated the judgment and remanded the cause with a new trial ordered.

Suggested Study Aid For Sports Law

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