PGA TOUR Secures Appellate Win

On July 27, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action lawsuit brought against the PGA TOUR, Skadden’s client, by professional golf caddies, who contended that the TOUR’s long-standing practice of requiring caddies to wear bibs that bear the logos of tournament sponsors violated their right of publicity, the Latham Act and antitrust laws. The court agreed with the TOUR’s argument that the plaintiffs consented to wear the bibs by contracting to wear “uniforms” prescribed by the TOUR and that their consent to wear bibs precluded their non-antitrust claims. The court further found that the plaintiffs’ claim that their consent was procured by economic duress was not plausible. With respect to the antitrust claims, the court agreed with the TOUR that the plaintiffs failed to identify a plausible product market.