LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Lawsuits are starting to pile up, with disgruntled fans suing Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and others for failing to disclose his injury prior to his mega fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Aside from two Las Vegas fans who filed a class-action suit against Pacquiao and Top Rank, three other fans from Chicago and Texas are seeking punitive damages in relation to the fight.
But Pacquiao found an ally in former Nevada State Secretary Ross Miller, who is also engaged in combat sports.
Miller, the youngest Secretary of State in the US when he was elected at the age of 30, told ABS-CBN North America News Bureau that the class action suits against the boxer are baseless.
“The lawsuits seem frivolous in my opinion. As a lifelong fan of boxing who attended the fight, I understand that injuries are common and many boxers simply fight through them. And, as I understand it, Manny disclosed the injury to the USADA,” he said.
“The fight might not have lived up to expectations but that’s no reason to go throwing around lawsuits.”
Miller competed in MMA in 2012 and immediately retired from competition after winning his fight.
The case filed in Chicago also names Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions as defendants in the class action.
Michael Cristalli, a Las Vegas based attorney who represented famous boxers and athletes, explained the case filed against the defendants.
“In this situation, they’re demanding a damages as a result what they believed Manny entering into the boxing match not fully advising the Commission of his physical condition and as a result they feel they’ve been damaged and their looking for monetary compensation associated with that claim,” he said.
Cristalli said class action suits are common in the US, but claims against an injured athlete are not.
“As it relates to an athlete injury and individuals claiming some type of damages as a result of them not getting a full performance, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. I mean if you think of the flood gate of what we call flood gate of litigation as a result of something like that; so if your favorite star running back has a hamstring pull but still plays in the Superbowl, do you a have a claim against that team because he wasn’t fully participating? Of course not, I mean it doesn’t even make sense,” he said.
“Just like in baseball, if one of your pitchers has a slight twitch in his arm and he still pitches for the seventh game of the world series do you have a claim against that particular person? No, I wouldn’t think so. And I think that’s the biggest issue here as it relates to this particular lawsuit; this particular litigation.”
Cristalli said that instead of worrying about the class action, Pacquiao should instead focus on addressing his case with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), which could slap him with disciplinary action.
“The Commission has a degree of penalties that they could assess against Manny Pacquiao; one of which would be a suspension. You know that could be a suspension for a year or more… He could be facing a period of time in terms of discipline, in that he can’t fight in this jurisdiction.”
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