Haynes and Boone Garners National Attention for "A Series of Touchdowns" Scored on Behalf of the NFL in Super Bowl Seating Trial
The verdict in the federal jury trial arising from the issues with the installation of temporary seating at Super Bowl XLV continues to garner national attention. As quoted in the New York Times, Haynes and Boone partner and lead trial attorney Thad Behrens noted that “the NFL has always accepted responsibility for the problems that were experienced by some of its fans at Super Bowl XLV and has attempted from the beginning to compensate them for their genuinely received losses and inconvenience." But on the most disputed issue in the trial—whether the League fraudulently induced two of the plaintiffs into purchasing seats with obstructed views for the game—the NFL prevailed decisively. NBC Sports hailed the verdict as “a big win for the league.” The Texas Lawbook called the verdict in the case the latest in “a series of touchdowns for the NFL’s lawyers, who all practice at Haynes and Boone.”
When the case was filed in February 2011, the plaintiffs designed it as a multi-million dollar class action on behalf of potentially hundreds of Super Bowl XLV ticketholders. The Haynes and Boone trial team began dismantling the opposition back in July 2012 when the Court dismissed nearly all of the tort claims in the case. That victory was followed by another in 2013, when the team secured the denial of class certification.
That led to Haynes and Boone’s successful defense of the League in the jury trial of the remaining eight Plaintiffs in the case. The Plaintiffs were seeking approximately $705,000 in actual and punitive damages. The Court granted a directed verdict in favor of the NFL on Plaintiffs’ punitive damages claims, and the jury ultimately awarded the Plaintiffs a total of only $75,850 – about $630,000 less than they were claiming. Of the victory, Thad Behrens said, “It has been a privilege and honor to represent the NFL in this case, and I couldn’t be more proud of the extraordinary team of Haynes and Boone lawyers and professionals who brought about this result for our client.”
The jury verdict in this case comes less than two months after Haynes and Boone obtained the dismissal of all claims brought against the NFL in connection with a class action brought in New Jersey arising from claims that the NFL’s distribution of tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.
Links to coverage -
Texas Lawbook (subscription required)
New York Times (subscription required)