Legal Newsline

Saturday, August 17, 2019

NFL moves to dismiss cheerleader's conspiracy lawsuit

By Hank Strickler | Jun 12, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – The NFL is seeking to dismiss a suit filed by a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader who alleged that it and 26 clubs conspired to suppress cheerleader wages.

Attorneys for NFL Enterprises LLC, doing business as National Football League filed the motion to dismiss in April in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff is Kelsey K., who court documents state was a cheerleader in 2013 and 2014.

According to court documents, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants "enforced" a conspiracy to pay cheerleaders low wages per game by "requiring clubs to submit copies of their employee contracts to the NFL under its constitution and bylaws." She alleged that this requirement was used to enforce an agreement regarding cheerleader's wages.

The defendants seek dismissal over Kelsey K.'s alleged failure to meet two necessary points already established under the 2007 Supreme Court decision Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. They allege the plaintiff has not established any concrete facts that could potentially prove evidence of a conspiracy; she has purely made repeated allegations that such a conspiracy exists. 

Regarding so-called "concrete facts," the defendant cited Bell Atlantic Corp., which states “an antitrust complaint 'must allege facts such as a specific time, place, or person involved in the alleged conspiracies.’”

Secondly, they claim her allegations fail to meet the Sherman Act’s necessary provision of “parallel conduct.” The motion for dismissal states that the Oakland Raiders pay cheerleaders $125 dollars per game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pay $100 dollars per game, and the Cincinnati Bengals pay $90 per game. The defendants allege that is hardly parallel conduct, which is necessary for a claim under the Sherman Act and the California Cartwright Act. 

They are represented by attorneys from Covington & Burling in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and by Arnold and Porter Kayle Scholer LLP in San Francisco.

Want to get notified whenever we write about U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ?

Sign-up Next time we write about U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California