Two of my greatest passions are class action law and NFL football, although not necessarily in that order. So, my interest is always piqued when the two are combined. Much to my delight, I came across this article from Rebecca Mowbray of The Times-Picayune that Saints Coach Sean Payton is the lead plaintiff in a putative class action filed in federal district court in New Orleans against a Chinese drywall manufacturer. Let’s hope class certification comes after February 7, because it looks like Coach Payton may be too busy with other obligations to focus on his obligations as class representative until then and could run into trouble meeting the adequacy of representation standard under Rule 23(a)(4).
Curiously, in another would-be class action involving the NFL, Parrish v. NFL Players Association, class certification was denied in part because the named plaintiff was found to be an inadequate representative. However, the would-be representative in that case was rejected for reasons much more serious than simply being busy. The court found that he was inadequate because his “vindictive remarks aimed at defendants, the racial slurs in several of his statements, his stated unwillingness to ever settle this case, and his blemished track record of representing retired NFL players — all demonstrate that he cannot be trusted to fulfill his fiduciary duty to the proposed class.”