January 19, 2024
A Nevada federal court refused Thursday to let Ultimate Fighting Championship avoid a slated April trial on claims alleging the company suppressed fighter wages by up to $1.6 billion, and also refused to exclude crucial expert opinions from the case.
The order from U.S. District Judge Richard F. Boulware II denied a summary judgment motion from UFC’s parent company Zuffa LLC and also struck bids to exclude two of the fighters’ experts.
The order said the court already considered UFC’s arguments, for both the summary judgment and exclusion bids, when it certified a class of fighters in the case last year, and said the same reasons for certifying the class apply to the other motions.
“Moreover, and importantly, the standard at certification — preponderance — is, in antitrust cases like this one, more exacting than the standard at summary judgment which requires only a genuine issue of disputed fact,” Thursday’s order said. “This is especially the case here where a district court must (and did) weigh and resolve fundamental disputes between the parties’ experts.”
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The fighters are represented by Eric L. Cramer, Michael Dell’Angelo, Patrick F. Madden, Najah Jacobs, Joshua P. Davis and Julie Pollock of Berger Montague, Joseph R. Saveri, Kevin E. Rayhill, Christopher K.L. Young and Itak Moradi of Joseph Saveri Law Firm LLP, Benjamin D. Brown, Richard A. Koffman and Daniel H. Silverman of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Don Springmeyer of Kemp Jones LLP, Robert C. Maysey and Jerome K. Elwell of Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC, Crane Pomerantz of Clark Hill PLC, William G. Caldes of Spector Roseman & Kodroff PC, John D. Radice of Radice Law Firm PC and Frederick S. Schwartz.