Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mikey Burnett Lawsuit From 2008 Relating to His Alleged Injury On Season Four Of The Ultimate Fighter Still Pending

As you may recall, Mikey Burnett was a Season Four participant on the Ultimate Fighter (the "Comeback") who allegedly suffered a spinal injury while the show was in production and later sued TufGuy Productions, Inc., which produces the Ultimate Fighter, Ultimate Fighting Productions, LLC, Zuffa, and AIG, which allegedly insured him under an "accident" policy.  Burnett has asserted claims for negligence, breach of contract (against AIG), and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (against AIG).

Here is a link to Cagepotato.com describing the suit that was initiated in July 2008 in state court and later removed to federal court.  Since removal, additional defendants were added, including Zuffa., which made for an interesting jurisdictional question for the federal court (I won't get into that here).

After removal and two amended complaints filed by plaintiff, defendants made a motion to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to prosecute that was denied by the Court on February 10, 2010. 

On June 7, 2010, Tufguy, Ultimate Fighter Productions, and Zuffa moved for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the Second Amended Complaint based on a number of waivers and releases contained in multiple contracts signed by Burnett.  Defendants' also argue that plaintiff assumed the risk of injury from competing in MMA as reflected in the agreements.  

I looked quickly at the second amended complaint (it is short on any specifics) and while I did not see a direct reference to "gross negligence," defendants claim that at least one agreement, by its terms, precludes liability even if defendants were grossly negligent. 

Now, I do not practice in Nevada, but generally you can not have a limitation that limits recovery for gross negligence claims, as opposed to ordinary negligence, which can be so limited. 

In any event, I am not really sure (and Burnett's pleading doesn't spell it out) how defendants were negligent at all.

Burnett will now likely file his opposition to the motion and I will continue to monitor. 

Fight Lawyer