Case Studies

Polsinelli achieves successful defense jury verdict mitigating potential multi-million dollar loss when NFL team management is sued in high profile age discrimination matter

Case Description
Polsinelli tried the case in an NFL team’s multi-million dollar litigation matter in which a 61-year old former maintenance manager’s employment was terminated and had filed suit. He claimed his termination was the result of age discrimination and consequently hired four prominent plaintiff’s attorneys. The NFL team alleged that the plaintiff was terminated because he gave an employee a raise after agreeing not to do so. After an almost four-week trial, Polsinelli successfully obtained a complete defense jury verdict on behalf of our NFL client. State law only requires a plaintiff to prove his age was a contributing factor in the discharge, as opposed to being a “motivating” or “determining” factor under federal law. The Polsinelli team demonstrated the strengths and capabilities of its Litigation Department in successfully convincing the jury that the NFL team’s management did not violate state age discrimination laws when it dismissed the former maintenance manager.

Matter specifics
Three Polsinelli attorneys served at trial after one month of preparation, strategy development, depositions, witness examination preparation, and jury selection

Key success factors:

  • Unique and challenging jury selection process due to client’s high profile nature
  • Attorney and witness credibility, combined with focus on elimination of age issue as factor above all else

More on the Polsinelli-NFL Client Relationship

Polsinelli was asked to represent this NFL team in labor and employment matters in 2011, and in conjunction with the NFL lock-out and labor negotiations. In the spring of 2013, our team of five cross-practice attorneys negotiated labor contracts with service employees including concessions, grounds crew, and maintenance, and continues to support team management on additional matters.