Plaintiffs unhappy that National Football League teams Giants and Jets call themselves New York teams when in fact they play their games in New Jersey have amended their class action lawsuit to demand that the teams remove New York from their franchise names.
The original lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan in January, asked that the teams move their home games to New York and out of New Jersey.
Plaintiffs allege that the NFL, the teams and New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium where both teams play engaged in false advertising, deceptive practices, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence.
Now, however, the plaintiffs, New Yorkers Abdiell Suero and Maggie Wilkins, argue that because the teams refused to move, they want the teams to stop using New York in their names.
The lawsuit also seeks $2 billion in damages and asks MetLife Stadium to end its “cashless” policy at concessions, which they say violates New Jersey law.
The NFL, the teams and the stadium have moved to have the suit dismissed, arguing in court papers that the claims are without merit and not worth court time. Instead, they are “calculated to score points in the headlines, not in the courtroom”, the defendants claim.
“There is nothing misleading about the Giants’ and Jets’ use of New York in their names,” the motion to dismiss says, adding that both teams have used the New York name for decades. The Giants have been playing in New Jersey since 1976 and the Jets since 1984.
The Complaint seeks to represent all those who have attended NFL games at MetLife Stadium since 2016 and have been misled and confused by Defendants’ marketing.
The complaint specifically targets MetLife Stadium’s claims that it is the “number one stadium in the world”, that it “sets the standard for venue excellence with state-of-the-art technology, comfort and amenities”, that it it ‘hosts the biggest events in the world, on the biggest stage in the world’, and that it ‘tops the industry charts every year since it opened’.
The complaint alleges that all of these statements are “false and materially misleading”. The complaint states that MetLife Stadium is located in the “swamps of East Rutherford, New Jersey” and that “the Giants, Jets and MetLife Stadium have absolutely no connection” to New York.
The Giants, Jets and MetLife Stadium pay no city, county or New York state taxes while using its name and iconic buildings for publicity purposes, according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs allege that if these companies can “engage in this blatant interstate false advertising, then other people and entities can falsely name their franchises, businesses, and products after a neighboring state that has superior marketability. without consequence, causing a risk of confusion”.
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