Concussions, CTE, & Closure

Silver Football and NFL Logo On Top of a Green Field, by flickr user C_osett, licensed by Creative Commons.

For the love of the game

The family of Junior Seau has reached settlement with the National Football League over his 2012 suicide. The Hall of Fame linebacker, who played more than half of his 20 year football career with the San Diego Chargers, took his own life at the age of 43. He was later diagnosed with CTE, a chronic form of brain damage, likely brought on by his violent on-field tackling in the NFL. Reports claim that Seau’s family will receive up to $4m in the wrongful death settlement, which was filed in a Philadelphia PA federal court. The NFL has come under fire over the last few years as more and more retired and former players are showing signs of brain damage, concussions, and dementia. Read more

Campbell: No Soup for You

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup, by flickr user Kimberly Vardeman, licensed by Creative Commons

In hot water

Investors are boiling over a famous American brand’s communication tactics, or lack thereof. Campbell Soup is being sued by a hedge fund called Third Point, whose main investor is billionaire Dan Loeb. The lawsuit claims that Campbell’s board refrained from disclosing some important information to potential and current investors in their latest strategic review. Third Point claims that there was some significant details excluded and made private by the snack maker. The board at Campbell has fired back, saying that Loeb & Third Point are misinformed and over-stepping their bounds. The lawsuit was filed in state superior court in Camden, New Jersey. Read more

Settlement: SEC Smells Musk

"Stack Of Cash",Licensed Creative Commons, Klickr User kenteegardin, 2011

Pay up

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s settlement with the SEC has been approved by a judge. The South African businessman and investor was accused of fraud after tweeting that he had secured funding to take his auto-maker, Tesla, private.Musk will have to pay a hefty $20m fine and is being forced to step down as chairman within the next 6 weeks. The charges against Musk were filed by the SEC in the early fall, shortly after Musk allegedly rejected a potential settlement offer. Tesla stock plummeted around 40 points after his “secure funding” tweet. Musk, often boisterous and grandiose in his ideas, designs, and persona, is no stranger to trouble after he was shown smoking weed in a live broadcast.  Read more

Class Action: Cash or Credit?

Debit Card, by Flickr user Neil T, Licensed by Creative Commons.

Pick a card, any card

Visa and Mastercard are just two companies ordered to pay over $900m in the latest from a class action lawsuit. Other defendants include JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup. Much of the settlement and disagreement was around card-swiping fees, ie the banks were over-charging for uses of credit and debit cards, everywhere from major retail stores to smaller mom-and-pop shops. In this iteration of the settlement, Visa will pay an additional $600m, Mastercard will pay another $108m, and the other banks will make up the rest, totaling $900m. That amount is to be added on to the remainder of the lawsuit, which now exceeds $6b. The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. Eastern District Court of New York.

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Things Get Stranger: Man Sues Netflix

Thunderstorm, by flickr user Thomas Bresson, licensed by Creative Commons.

There’s a storm coming

Netflix has had tons of success in the last few years, rising from the ashes to become a technology powerhouse. The business model is a low cost, subscription-based service providing content to consumers who love their tv shows and movies. One of the most successful pieces of original content is the Netflix-original Stranger Things, a sci-fi / fantasy series about kids in the 1980s who experience (you guessed it) “strange things”. Even stranger is that the now famous images used to promote the show, which an ominous thunderstorm system moving through the clouds, allegedly infringes on a Montana photographer’s copyright. As such, he is taking Netflix to court and seeking damages regarding this misuse of his image. Read more