Blogroll

Loco Lawsuits: Fan wants NY Jets and NY Giants renamed — and $6 billion

Each year brings bizarre lawsuits. And 2022 kicked off early.

On January 4, Abdiell Suero sued the NFL, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets on behalf of himself and the teams’ fans in the State of New York. Why? Both teams play their home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (also a defendant).

The class-action lawsuit, filed in New York City, seeks damages for transportation costs, emotional distress, false advertising, deceptive trade practices, racketeering, and unjust enrichment. It aims to brand itself as seeking justness. The “Introduction” to the 19-page, 143-paragraph complaint says, “If the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Liberty, Rangers, and other New York franchises must play in New York and pay premium real estate costs and taxes to be branded a ‘New York’ (‘NY’) sports franchise, it is only fair that the NFL Giants and Jets do the same or change their name to accurately reflect the location of their stadium[.]”

Suero and his lawyer contend that the massive growth in value of the two teams over the last 20 years is “largely due to their designation as New York (‘NY’) NFL teams.” However, the complaint alleges, first-time attendees at the home games are unaware the teams play in New Jersey. Moreover, many fans wouldn’t attend the home games if they were “warned in advance” they are in New Jersey. Besides, people who watch the games on television “are given the false impression” the teams are from New York.

The lawsuit says the “ripple effects” of the teams being designated “New York” teams cost him, all Giants and Jets fans in the State of New York, and the state and city “billions of dollars in transportation costs, time, taxes and jobs.”
Adiell claims that he and millions of other fans have been subjected to “expensive and time-consuming transportation” to East Rutherford.

Additionally, despite saving money by playing in New Jersey, the Jets and Giants won only 35 percent and 40 percent of their games over the past decade, respectively. When the complaint was filed, they were a combined 8-24 in the current season. Because the teams affiliate themselves with New York, not New Jersey, Jets and Giants fans in New York are “insulted, ridiculed, harassed, tormented, and bullied” by other NFL fans. This causes them mental and emotional distress, including depression, sadness, and anxiety.

The complaint alleges the Jets and Giants engaged in false advertising since moving to New Jersey by using “NY” or “New York” on their products and misrepresenting the quality of MetLife Stadium. The deceptive trade practices claim is similar, saying, “NFL fans are tricked into believing” the teams play in New York. In addition, this means Suero and other Jets and Giants fans in New York “are unable to enjoy watching the Giants and Jets games.” Each claim seeks statutory damages of $50 for each class member “plus transportation costs to and from MetLife Stadium.” They also request the two teams remove “NY” or “New York” from their name and products “until they return to the State of New York.”

The racketeering claim says the teams committed wire fraud using New York instead of New Jersey on the internet, television, and radio worldwide. The intent is to inflate ticket prices, merchandise, and memorabilia. The complaint demands $2 billion in compensatory damages and $4 billion in punitive damages and that both teams return to New York when their contracts with MetLife Stadium end in 2025. The balance of complaint seeks to disgorge the “unjust enrichment” of the two teams and accuses them of conspiracy.

Interestingly, three of the first 22 numbered paragraphs of the complaint cite a 1986 decision by a federal court in New Jersey in which the Giants sued the “New Jersey Giants.” Suero quotes parts of the decision saying the Giants avoid a New Jersey identification “as resolutely as a vampire eschews the cross,” that such avoidance might make a person wonder, and that it’s an “anomaly” a team uses the name of one state while playing in another. However, it omits that one of the sentences it quotes finds that “the fact remains that the Giants have the right to retain the long-standing goodwill and reputation they have developed in the name ‘New York Giants'[.]”

Yeah, but why worry about minor details like that?

(Due credit to Kevin Underhill an Lowering the Bar.)


Question — When should an attorney say “no” to a client? Answer — When asked to file a lawsuit like this one.

McDonald v. John P. Scripps Newspaper, 210 Cal. App.3d 100, 257 Cal. Rptr. 473 (1989)

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>