FanDuel And DraftKings Win Publicity Case

Business News

A federal judge has tossed a lawsuit brought by former Northern Illinois University running back Akeem Daniels against FanDuel and DraftKings daily fantasy sports sites that he accused of unlawfully using his name to generate millions of dollars in revenue.

Judge Tanya Pratt in the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana threw out the suit in a Friday ruling on a motion to dismiss. She cited, among other things, that their references fell under an exception that allows such uses of names if they are considered newsworthy.

Daniels sued Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel and sought class-action status to represent all college players.

The Court acknowledges that this is a close call. But given Indiana’s interpretive preference to read statutes in a manner that avoids constitutional issues, as well as other Circuits’ reasoning on similar issues, the Court concludes that Defendants’ materials constitute “reporting,” wrote the Court in its decision.

The lawsuit mentions other players who appeared in games on the sites. Several states have said that they consider such sites illegal.