Former Northern Illinois RB Initiates Class Action Suit against Daily Fantasy Sports

By Phil Cantor
Jan. 28, 2016

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

by: OSGPhil/@osgphil

The cavalcade of lawsuits against Daily Fantasy Sports continues with a potential Class Action Suit filed in an Illinois Federal Court on Wednesday. And this suit brings the potential of having the same effect the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit did on the use of College Athletes likenesses in video games.

Former Northern Illinois RB Akeem Daniels is spearheading the lawsuit against Fan Duel and Draft Kings for using his and other athletes names and likenesses to make profit.

The suit seeks $5 million for each complaint logged against the companies. Though at this moment nobody has joined the class action---yet.

According to a report in The Sporting News, up to 2,000 College Athletes would be eligible to take part in the lawsuit as plaintiffs. Daniels cites at least 13 of his own teammates as potential plaintiffs.

From the---a portion of the Lawsuits verbiage:

"Defendant has utilized Plaintiff’s name to generate revenues for itself, and 'gaming' (i.e., gambling) profits for others. Indeed, Defendant has predicated their entire business models on the notion that commercial value attends to the Plaintiff and Class Members’ names, assigning 'salaries' to each Class Member — even though the Class Members did not draw any salary of any type for playing their collegiate sport."

The suit also apparently cites the risk borne by athletes that someone who participates--and potentially loses at the games due to the athletes performance puts them in danger. It also cites the risk of potential "Point-Shaving" to help bring about the outcome a bettor/client of the companies may want.

This might be an interesting case to follow because it essentially copies most of the terms of the O'Bannon case regarding College Athletes. And if you look at it from that perspective---Daniels raises a legitimate point. Technically speaking the kids names and likenesses are being used. And their performance is profitable for other people. Not them.

Stay tuned. If this goes anywhere it may be a game changer. At least in the College World. Though it could open some professional doors too.

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