Firm Files Fantasy Sports FanDuel & DraftKings Class Action

October 20, 2015 / 5:06 am

FanDuel and DraftKings Class Action Complaint Seeks Return of $5 Million, Alleges Players Were Cheated by “Sharks” Who Used “Sniping Software” to Gain Unfair Advantage

CORAL GABLES (Oct. 19, 2015) – The trial law firms of Colson Hicks Eidson and Lagos & Priovolos have filed a proposed class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of two South Florida men and similarly situated class members against the daily fantasy sports game operators FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc.

The complaint alleges that between February 2012 and October 6, 2015, the defendants engaged in deceptive and unfair trade practices by allowing an elite group of players to use special computer software to gain an edge over most of the other daily fantasy sports competitors who patronized the firms’ websites.

The name plaintiffs seeking to represent the proposed class are Antonio Gomez, a FanDuel player, and Ricardo Alejandro Garcia, who competed through DraftKings. Both reside in Miami-Dade County. The suit alleges both were outmaneuvered by elite players who used “robots,” “spiders,” “scrapers” and “sniping software” to gain a competitive advantage. In effect, they were allowed by the companies to engage in a practice called scripting, where high volume players used automated processes to expedite multiple entries in a single contest.

“While any player may get lucky on the back of a handful of entries into defendants’ DraftKings’ and FanDuel’s games, over time nearly all of the prize money flows to a tiny elite equipped with elaborate statistical modeling and automated tools that can manage hundreds of entries at once and identify the weakest opponents,” the FanDuel and DraftKings class action lawsuit alleges.

To play on the fantasy sports sites, competitors open accounts with the companies which host the competition among individual users. Players pay entry fees to build virtual rosters of actual athletes on sports teams. The participants can win prizes based on the players’ performances in real games.

But the suit alleges that while the amount of prize money for each game was set in advance, the number of users who entered any given game was unknown.

According to the lawsuit, an “overlay” would occur when the amount of a prize exceeded the amount of money received by the companies from the entry fees. To cure the problem, the companies allowed “Apex predators” to “flood the games, because money received from increased entries paid by the predators provides coverage to DraftKings and FanDuel for the overlay.”

Besides the companies, other defendants listed in the suit include individuals alleged to be “Apex” or “Shark” bettors. Drew Dinkmeyer of Fort Lauderdale is alleged to be one of those bettors. Another, Eugene Haskell, is an employee of DraftKings who used inside information to play fantasy sports on both company sites. The suit lists his address as the same as Dinkmeyer’s.

Other defendants include Saahil Sud, an alleged “predator” player based in Boston, and Matthew Boccio of New York, a player who allegedly used insider information about other competitors’ roster selections to his advantage.

The multiple count lawsuit alleges breach of contract, negligence, civil conspiracy, civil RICO and violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Protection Act.

The lawsuit seeks the return of some $5 million in fees and certification of the proposed overall plaintiffs’ class and several “sub-classes” named after the defendants. It seeks the appointment of

Gomez and Garcia as the plaintiff class representatives, as well as compensatory treble damages and pre- and post-judgment interest.

The FanDuel and DraftKings class action lawsuit comes in the wake of growing scrutiny from state and federal authorities into the daily fantasy sports industry.

Last Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board concluded that daily fantasy sports constitutes gambling and should be regulated. It ordered the suspension of online activities by FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc. The Nevada board said it will require both companies to obtain licenses if they want to resume operations in the state.

To date, the fantasy sports industry has not been considered to be engaged in gambling with the companies pointing to language in the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The law defines paid fantasy sports competitions as contests where the results are based on skill that involve “accumulated statistical results of sporting events,” and are therefore not considered gambling. However, the states of Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington either have a more restrictive definition of a game of skill, or consider daily fantasy sports as gambling.

On Friday, federal investigators in Tampa reportedly subpoenaed the records of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. The action is part of an FBI and Department of Justice investigation into an unknown number of fantasy sports operators. Two weeks ago, the office of the New York State Attorney General opened an inquiry into whether DraftKings and FanDuel employees won rich payouts with the help of information not available to the public.

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About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial law firm based in Coral Gables, Florida, that represents consumers victimized by unfair and deceptive trade practices committed by companies in the private sector.

 

For more information, call 305-476-7400.

About Lagos & Priovolos

Lagos & Priovolos is a trial law firm in Miami. Firm co-founder Christos Lagos focuses on complex civil claims arising out of defective products, unsafe premises, automobile accidents, medical malpractice, and business disputes. Co-founder John Priovolos specializes in complex civil litigation and the defense of criminal prosecutions, including white collar crimes, DUI/traffic infractions, drug offenses, violent crimes and domestic violence.

For more information, call 305-960-1990, or visit www.attainjustice.com.

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MIAMI (June 13, 2024) – Colson Hicks Eidson has been recognized as one of the top three trial law firms in Florida in the “Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs” category by the respected Chambers and Partners USA Legal Guide for the fourth year in a row. In addition, five of the Miami-based firm’s attorneys were also ranked individually.

“These rankings highlight the commitment and hard work of our attorneys, showcasing our firm’s capability to manage diverse cases for our clients,” said Dean Colson. “As the South Florida business landscape evolves, we remain committed to serving new clients while upholding the same standard of excellence that has defined our firm for 55 years.”

Stephanie Casey, Julie Braman Kane, Curtis Miner, Roberto Martínez, and Mike Eidson were all ranked individually for their work in the “Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs” category. Miner received the top ranking (Band 1) and Eidson was named “Senior Statesperson” in “Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs.” Martínez was named “Senior Statesperson” in two categories: “Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs” and “White Collar Crime and Government Investigations.”

The rankings are a result of the firm’s exceptional track record of securing multimillion-dollar judgments and settlements for its clients in areas that include commercial litigation, medical malpractice, products liability, class actions, multidistrict litigation, and aviation and automobile accidents.

To schedule a consultation, do not hesitate to contact an attorney at our law office. We have experience in a wide variety of cases for clients located throughout the nation and around the globe.

About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a renowned law firm based in Miami, Florida, that is recognized as one of the top trial firms in the United States. Built on a foundation of over 50 years of dedication forging strong client relationships, Colson Hicks Eidson handles local, national, and international litigation, with cases spanning from Miami, Florida, and throughout the United States, to matters in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Europe. Learn more at: www.colson.com.

Colson Hicks Eidson lawyers Thomas Kroeger and Zachary Lipshultz secured a $3 million damages award for a family of four who suffered significant trauma when a defective lithium-ion battery-powered scooter exploded and burned down their townhome. The family lost all of their possessions and endured significant emotional distress after being exposed to the fire and smoke.

On June 21, 2021, the electric scooter sold by Miami-based Defendant Hypertoyz exploded in the family’s foyer, quickly engulfing their home in fire. Everyone managed to escape amid the smoke and fire, but the family’s townhome was gutted in the blaze, destroying their possessions and forcing them to relocate.

A Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently awarded all four family members compensatory damages totaling $3 million.

Colson Hicks Eidson, P.A. and co-counsel BartlettChen LLC filed a complaint on behalf of a three-generation family who experienced a harrowing near-death incident on a United Airlines flight. The event occurred due to a miscommunication between the Captain and First Officer, resulting in the plane suddenly losing altitude and plunging toward the Pacific Ocean, coming within seconds of crashing and subjecting the passengers to extreme G-forces and terror.

The incident took place on Dec. 18, 2022 when three generations of the family boarded United Airlines Flight 1722 from Maui, Hawaii to San Francisco, California after a long-planned family vacation.

Shortly after takeoff during heavy rain, the Captain asked the First Officer to reset the wing flaps, but the First Officer heard “15” instead of “five,” according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).  The NTSB concluded that the probable cause of the incident was “the flight crew’s failure to manage the airplane’s vertical flightpath, airspeed, and pitch attitude following a miscommunication about the captain’s desired flap setting during the initial climb.”

“To some extent, encounters with bad weather or turbulence are unavoidable when you fly, but no passenger should ever have to endure such a terrifying experience due to pilot error while traveling on a routine commercial flight.” Curtis Miner, Counsel for Plaintiffs said. “Our clients’ entire, three-generation family was subjected to this terrifying, near-miss incident.  We are committed to seeking justice and fair compensation on their behalf.'” Austin Bartlett, Counsel for Plaintiffs, commented: “This nearly catastrophic flight was horrific and traumatic. The Maltz family and all airlines passengers deserve better.”

The complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois where United Airlines is headquartered.

About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a boutique litigation firm serving clients in local, national, and international matters. Our multilingual team of highly experienced attorneys is dedicated to providing our clients with top-tier legal representation backed by a commitment to hard work, creative thinking, responsiveness, and professionalism. From our offices in Miami, we have handled a broad range of significant legal matters around the world for over 50 years.

About BartlettChen LLC

Based in Chicago, BartlettChen LLC represents individuals in aviation, wrongful death, and immigration matters across the nation and internationally. Austin Bartlett of BartlettChen has practiced aviation law for more than two decades and brings the unique perspective of a former aviation defense attorney to help victims and their families secure full compensation for their losses.

Colson Hicks Eidson is pleased to announce that nine attorneys have been named in the 2024 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers. Lawyers for this guide are selected through Lawdragon’s process of independent journalistic research and submissions.  Their selection process emphasizes lawyers who have demonstrated consistent excellence and have made notable impacts in their fields.

Click here to read the full guide.

The Firm’s recognized attorneys are listed below.

About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a boutique litigation law firm based in Miami, Florida, serving clients in local, national, and international matters across multiple languages. Practice areas include complex civil and commercial litigation, catastrophic personal injury, medical negligence, product liability, class action, mass tort, and white-collar criminal defense for the most serious and challenging of cases.  Since 1971, the firm and its lawyers have consistently worked to be respected by the state and federal judiciary – securing numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts, judgments, and settlements on behalf of clients. Learn more at www.colson.com.

MIAMI (November 2, 2023) – Colson Hicks Eidson announced today that it has been named in the 2024 list of The Best Law Firms in America. The Miami-based firm has once again received this honor at both the national and metropolitan level. This follows a recent announcement where seven of the firm’s attorneys were named as Best Lawyers in America” for 2024 across a range of fields.

“We strive every day to provide the best possible representation for our clients, and we are honored to continue to receive this recognition for our work,” said Dean C. Colson, Managing Partner of Colson Hicks Eidson.

Best Lawyers, a distinguished peer-review legal publication company, develops The Best Law Firms in America listings through individual lawyer and law firm surveys and firm recognition history. Colson Hicks Eidson is recognized in the following areas.

National Tier 2 (Represents national clients and smaller companies)

  1. Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs

Metropolitan Tier 1 (Scored within a certain percentage of highest-scoring firms in area)

Miami

  1. Bet-the-Company Litigation
  2. Commercial Litigation
  3. Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  4. Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs
  5. Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
  6. Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  7. Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
  8. Insurance Law

Metropolitan Tier 2 (Scored within a certain percentage of the next highest-scoring firms in area)

Miami

  1. Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
  2. Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs

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About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a boutique litigation law firm based in Miami, Florida, serving clients in local, national, and international matters across multiple languages. Practice areas include complex civil and commercial litigation, catastrophic personal injury, medical negligence, product liability, class action, mass tort, and white-collar criminal defense for the most serious and challenging of cases.  Since 1971, the firm and its lawyers have consistently worked to be respected by the state and federal judiciary – securing numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts, judgments, and settlements on behalf of clients. Learn more at www.colson.com.

Colson Hicks Eidson (CHE) is proud to announce its recent involvement in a significant legal matter with statewide implications. Sabrina Saieh, an attorney at CHE, has filed an amicus brief in the First District Court of Appeal in the case of State of Florida, Agency of Health Care Administration v. Alfredo Ivan Murciano, M.D. in support of Dr. Murciano’s brief.

The amicus brief was filed on behalf of CHE senior partner Roberto Martinez, who served on the most recent Florida Constitution Review Commission and was the primary sponsor of an amendment to the Florida Constitution, now found in Article V, Section 21, titled “Judicial Interpretation of Statutes and Rules.” This amendment explicitly prevents courts and Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from deferring to administrative agencies’ interpretations of state statutes or rules.

The brief urges the First District Court of Appeal to recognize that Article V, Section 21 was added to the Florida Constitution to prevent executive branch agencies, such as the Agency of Health Care Administration (ACHA), from imposing their legal interpretations on the courts and ALJs. The Florida Constitution prohibits ALJs and the courts from accepting mandates from ACHA to adopt their findings of fact or issue orders based on ACHA’s interpretations of statutes and rules that contradict those determined by the ALJs or courts during a de novo review.

This amicus brief underscores CHE’s dedication to defending the integrity of the Florida Constitution and ensuring that judicial interpretation of statutes and rules remains impartial and independent from administrative agencies.