If you're a lawyer for the Buffalo Bills now's the time to earn your money.
First, the resolved lawsuit. The Buffalo Bills reached a settlement with fans that stemmed from a 2012 class-action lawsuit. The grievance? Text messaging updates. The Bills had promised that their updates wouldn't exceed five spammed messages a week. Their sin? Sending six texts the first week and seven the next. At that point dissatisfied customer Jerry Wojcik led some 40,000 other Bills fans who signed up for the service to push back against this tyranny. The Bills capitulated by reaching a $3 million dollar settlement. That breaks down to $2.5 million in Bills gift certificates to the fan base, five grand to Wojcik and, of course, $562,500 to Wojcik's attorneys. It also spelled the end of the texting service.
While one part of us sees this as the very essence of a frivolous lawsuit and wonders why Wojcik didn't just cancel the service (assuming that was an option) the other part of us is glad to see a business take responsibility for its spam. While the Buffalo Bills' one to two text overreach doesn't sound too oppressive, part of us dies every time our phones vibrate to get an update on a discount sale or reminder of a new store opening. How the hell did they get our numbers anyway?
That brings us to lawsuit number two...
This one brought to you by the Buffalo Bills cheerleaders, and a complaint that appears to be (on its surface) much more valid than Wojcik's. In this class-action lawsuit five former Buffalo cheerleaders (known as "Jills") have gone public with their complaints of the Bills' BS labor practices.
Amongst their list of objections are: Their argument that they were paid less than five dollars an hour. Their argument that they weren't compensated for practice time. Had unexplained deductions from their paychecks. Weren't reimbursed for business expenses. That they were forced to buy and then re-sell swimsuit calendars. And that they were prescribed how to behave both on, and off, the field. The most notable example was being taught how to "wash their intimate areas." Their bodies were also, allegedly, tested for "jiggling" during mandated jumping jacks.
This is not the first complaint NFL cheerleaders have aired and is just another story (in addition to their handling of concussions, shady tax practices, etc.) that makes the NFL look like some sort of rich, evil corporation from a movie. With $9.3 billion in annual revenue, who can afford to pay cheerleaders McDonald's level wages?
We're sure there'll be more dirty laundry that'll be made public in the near future.