Judge denies EA plea to dismiss NFL players' lawsuit
A federal judge Friday denied a motion from Electronic Arts Inc. to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former National Football League players alleging that the video game company misappropriated their likenesses in its Madden NFL titles.
The ruling, by Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, means that the case will proceed with its quest to obtain class-action status in representing more than 6,000 former NFL players.
The named plaintiffs include Tony Davis, former running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Vince Ferragamo, former quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams (pictured above); and Billy Joe DuPree, former tight end for the Dallas Cowboys.
Davis and others allege that EA, based in Redwood City, Calif., used their likenesses in Madden games without compensating them. EA in the past has argued that it has the right to do so under the 1st Amendment.
An EA spokesman said the company "respectfully disagrees" with the ruling and is "confident we will prevail."
-- Alex Pham
Photo: Vince Ferragamo, No. 15, former quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, gets ready to throw during the 1980 Super Bowl game. Credit: Associated Press and Los Angeles Times