Judge dismisses two counts in Zuffa’s lawsuit in New York

August 17, 2012

The Honorable Kimba Wood of the New York District Court for the Southern District ruled in favor of the state of New York (District Attorney and A.G.) and dismissed two of Zuffa’s counts in its lawsuit against the state.   Zuffa still has 5 counts remaining

In a 16 page opinion issued today, Judge Wood ruled in favor of the defendants as it dismissed the two counts of Equal Protection and Due Process violations.  Some background on the legal case is here and here.

Order on Zuffa’s Motion to Dismiss

In its decision the Court held that the 1997 law passed by New York had a rational basis at the time and now.  Despite the evolution of MMA it would not evaluate the law based on changed circumstances.  Even if it did, the Court stated that the MMA law was still rationally related to its intended purpose.

The Court had some interesting footnotes in its Opinion.  Notably in footnote 7 of the Opinion, the Court, for purposes of the Opinion, took as fact that MMA is “materially safer activity than football” based upon the information.

Also, in footnote 9 of the Opinion, the Court states it would not address Zuffa’s vagueness claim which was not before it at the time on the issue of Amateur MMA.   But, the Court later on states that despite the legislature limiting the MMA law to professional MMA, it does not “undermine the law’s rational basis.”

Payout Perspective:

The ruling today is a blow to the Zuffa legal team.  While there are 5 counts remaining, the Opinion does not necessarily give Zuffa hope that the rest of the claims will survive a further attack (i.e., dispositive motion dismissing the case in its entirety).  Moreover, the fact that in the Conclusion of the Opinion the Court indicates that the legislature would be the proper place to seek amendment to the 1997 does not lend much confidence on how the legal battle will go.

MMA Payout will have more on this in the coming days.

2 Responses to “Judge dismisses two counts in Zuffa’s lawsuit in New York”

  1. Bruce on August 18th, 2012 12:57 AM

    Although I was completely correct in predicting that the claims would go nowhere, this is no ‘blow’ to anything Zuffa as this was merely a publicity stunt, and there is nothing wrong with that. It was obvious to a graduate of even the lowest tier law school the court was not going to throw out a law passed under the state’s police power to protect the safety and well-being of its denizens. Of course there was a rational basis! Zuffa was trying to force the legislature’s hand, by relying on public/media pressure. Legal fees are tax deductible, if I am not mistaken. Zuffa will win in the end anyway.

  2. terrencefromsoutheast on August 20th, 2012 2:54 PM

    I don’t see MMA in New York anytime soon.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.