New Orleans bar loses bid to dismiss suit alleging it illegally broadcast Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight

By Takesha Thomas | Jul 19, 2018

NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans bar recently was denied a motion to dismiss a civil case that claimed the bar allegedly held an illegal viewing party of the 2015 pay-per-view boxing match of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. 

Boxing and special event distributor J&J Sports Productions, which received the exclusive nationwide commercial distribution and broadcast rights to the May 2, 2015, boxing match, filed suit in April 28, 2018, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana alleging Louisiana-based Out of the Cold Inc. unlawfully broadcast the boxing fight at Pete’s Out of the Cold bar in New Orleans without permission or paying the sublicense fee. 

According to court documents filed, J&J suit alleges violations of the the Federal Communications Act and the Federal Wiretap Act. 

Out of the Cold filed a motion on June 20 to dismiss the complaint on the basis that it is procedurally time barred

On July 11, the district court wrote, "Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court “accept(s) all well-pleaded facts as true and view(s) all facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”

The statute of limitations for an action brought under the FCA is three years. J&J filed its claim on April 28, 2018, just days before the ending of the May 2, 2018, statute of limitations, the court filing said.  

However, the court ruled under the Federal Wiretap Act that it was less clear if Out of the Cold was in violation. 

According to court documents, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined "the Federal Wiretap Act’s limitation period begins when the plaintiff had the opportunity to discovery the interception. The appeals court has held that "this limitation period begins to run once the plaintiff has enough notice as would lead a reasonable person to either sue or launch an investigation.”

The district court dismissed Out of the Cold's motion to dismiss and the suit will move forward.

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