The Significance of the NCAA Supreme Court Case and What It Means for Student Athletes

Along with the Britney Spears conservatorship case, legal analysts and lawyers have been closely following an entirely different legal matter in 2021: the NCAA v. Alston case. For years, college students receiving sports scholarships have been restricted from making money — all the while bringing in billions of dollars in tickets and merchandise for the colleges they attend. Many lawsuits have addressed the concerning fact that educational institutions and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have benefited financially from student athletes, while the athletes themselves have made nothing other than academic scholarships.

As attorneys and fans of college football, we have closely followed the recent NCAA v. Alston case, which addressed an important question that has been asked for decades: Did NCAA rules blanketly prohibiting student-athletes from receiving certain types of compensation violate federal antitrust laws? The NCAA long downplayed this argument and other similar arguments by maintaining that student athletes recruited to play for colleges are “amateurs.” Critics and attorneys representing athletes have argued that the NCAA’s definition of amateurism is archaic and that student athletes deserve to be compensated because others are profiting from their names, images, and likenesses.

Eventually, the matter made its way to the highest court, and in June 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed lower court rulings and held that long held restrictions prohibiting student athletes from being compensated were a violation of antitrust laws. NCAA v. Alston addressed the NCAA’s prohibitions on providing college athletes with non-cash compensation for academic-related purposes, such as computers and internships. Justice Kavanaugh, in a separate concurrence to the ruling, proposed that the NCAA should pause and consider whether the key distinguishing feature of NCAA competition is that the athletes are not paid a salary for their services.

Of course, the Alston case was not the first case to address the issue of compensation to athletes. In 2014, a class action suit brought against the NCAA argued that student athletes should be entitled to financial compensation for NCAA’s commercial use of athlete images — such as in highly profitable EA Sports NCAA Basketball and NCAA Football video games.

 In O’Bannon v. NCAA, Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the NCAA’s long-established practice of prohibiting payments to student athletes was a violation of antitrust laws. Judge Wilken ordered that schools should be permitted to offer full cost-of-attendance scholarships to include the cost-of-living expenses that were not currently covered. Additionally, she ruled that colleges could be permitted to place money — up to $5,000 per year — in a trust for students. While the NCAA subsequently appealed the ruling, the Supreme Court denied the appeal and the NCAA was also ordered to pay plaintiffs more than $42 million in fees and costs.

With the unanimous supreme court ruling last month in NCAA v. Alston, the passage of laws to improve compensation for college athletes in endorsements and sponsorships are likely to be accelerated. President Biden even weighed in, stating he “believes that everyone should be compensated fairly for his or her labor.”

Many of the NCAA rules on recruiting and sponsorships will not be changing. However, colleges and universities will be establishing their own rules and strategies for benefits, compensation, and use of image and likeness. In the aftermath of the NCAA ruling, many important conversations are just getting started. For current athletes and high school students being recruited, the possibilities remain to be seen.

Ohio Accident Attorneys Representing Victims of Delivery Truck Accidents

Have you been injured or have you lost a loved one in a delivery truck accident in Ohio involving a FedEx, USPS, UPS, or Amazon Prime vehicle? Victims of delivery truck accidents may be entitled to substantial compensation for their injuries, including:

  • Medical care expenses;
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy;
  • Lost earnings; and
  • Pain and suffering.

Recovering fair compensation after an accident involving a delivery truck may be much more complicated than a car accident with another passenger vehicle. The major transportation companies have experienced legal counsel and virtually unlimited resources to defend personal injury claims. They may even go so far as to blame you for your injuries.

After an accident, a skilled and experienced Ohio delivery truck accident attorney at GBM can help you protect your legal rights and fight for the maximum financial compensation you deserve. Under our contingency fee agreement, if we represent you, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you.

More Delivery Trucks on the Road than Ever Before

The lockdowns and quarantines arising from the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in online shopping in 2020. Amazon reported a nearly 200 percent rise in profits as many people transitioned to online shopping for everyday purchases. With an increase in demand, there has also been a sharp increase in the number of delivery trucks and vehicles on the road.

It is nearly impossible to obtain accurate data on Amazon delivery vehicle accidents. Amazon’s organizational structure of fleet vehicles, flex drivers, delivery service partners (DSPs), and contract vehicles makes it difficult to accurately estimate the number of vehicles on the road, and the number of accidents. However, we do hear about accidents and incidents involving delivery trucks:

  • May 2020 — Newport News, Virginia: A 61-year-old woman was riding a bicycle when she was struck and killed by an Amazon truck.
  • June 2020 — Cranbury Township, New Jersey: An Amazon Prime tractor trailer struck the rear of a Toyota Camry. Three people were injured, and a 1-year-old boy tragically died of his injuries at a nearby hospital.
  • June 2020 — Volusia County, Florida: The driver of a disabled Honda Civic was killed when he was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer carrying Amazon packages.
  • November 2020 — Salem, Ohio: The driver of an SUV was injured after being rear-ended by an Amazon van that reportedly failed to stop at a stop sign.
  • November 2020 — Greenville, Ohio: Two drivers were injured in a collision when the driver of a Ford Transit Amazon delivery van made a left turn and reportedly failed to yield to oncoming traffic.
  • March 2021 — Riverside, CA: An Amazon delivery truck slammed into a sheriff’s patrol vehicle that had responded to another accident. Two people died and two law enforcement personnel were injured.

In 2013, Amazon’s first chief financial officer was riding her bike when she was struck and killed by a vehicle delivering Amazon packages. Eventually, a $6.25 million settlement was reached by insurers for the carrier company, subcontractor, and driver. Sadly, this tragedy was not an isolated occurrence. Many of the settlements reached after delivery truck accidents are confidential, so just like statistics on the number of accidents, it is difficult to know how much logistics companies are paying out.

Amazon Flex Vehicle Accidents

Amazon relies on its own ridesharing service — called Amazon Flex — which hires “partner” drivers to deliver Amazon packages using their own vehicles. Drivers reserve a block of time, like 3 to 6 hours, and pick up packages from an Amazon delivery station and then deliver packages to customers’ homes and businesses in their own vehicles. If drivers do not deliver vehicles in the allotted time period, their relationship with Amazon as a Flex driver may be terminated, and future opportunities will not be available.

The Flex program allows Amazon to meet increased demand when it needs to, such as during peak holiday times or during Prime Day. It also saves them money, allowing them to use contract drivers instead of unionized drivers. If you are involved in an accident involving an Amazon flex vehicle, it may not be immediately obvious. The driver will be in their own vehicle. In Ohio, Amazon Flex operates in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton.

Federal Safety Agency Looking at Delivery Truck Operations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates trucks used in interstate commerce (not local delivery trucks). Generally, FMCSA regulations do not apply to trucks that only operate in one state. However, we know the federal agency is taking a closer look at so-called “last mile” delivery trucks – those trucks that deliver to homes and businesses. FMCSA Associate Administrator for Policy Larry Minor acknowledged in 2020 that it was a revelation about how little the agency knew about what was going on. He went on to say, “even though we may not have any regulatory authority over [delivery trucks], there’s a safety conversation to be had.”

Trucking company FMCSA violations can be indicative of negligence which can lead to catastrophic truck accidents which can lead to serious injury or wrongful death. Operators can be cited for vehicle inspections, driver duty violations, and safety violations. Examples of safety violations operators have been cited for include:

  • Speeding 6 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit;
  • Speeding 11 to 14 miles per hour over the speed limit;
  • Speeding 15 or more miles per hour over the speed limit;
  • Speeding work/construction zone;
  • Following too close;
  • Improper lane change;
  • Improper passing;
  • Inattentive driving;
  • Failure to yield to right of way; and
  • Using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

At GBM Law, our attorneys and network of experts are well-versed in FMCSA regulations, as well as state and local regulations. After any trucking accident, we work quickly to determine whether the truck driver, trucking company, or any other parties violated federal, state, or local regulations or vehicle codes.

Causes of Ohio Delivery Truck Accidents

Many delivery vehicle accidents result from the incredible pressure companies put on drivers to meet delivery deadlines. Because drivers’ compensation is based on the number and rates of completed deliveries, some drivers inevitably jeopardize safety in order to get more packages delivered faster. Some of the causes of delivery vehicle accidents include:

  • Distraction from smartphone use while driving;
  • Driver exhaustion/fatigue;
  • Drivers rushed to complete all of their deliveries;
  • Driving under the influence of drugs;
  • Limited visibility as a result of piled packages in the windshield or mirror area;
  • Reckless/unsafe driving and/or speeding; and
  • Running stop signs or traffic signals.

In order to meet demand, Amazon has sought to offer solutions for urgent deliveries, offering next-day and same-day options, putting the threat of losing employment on drivers in order to meet deadlines and quotas. Beyond speeding and reckless driving have led to many accidents that have resulted in serious injuries and deaths.

Get a Free Consultation with an Ohio Delivery Truck Accident Lawyer

The Ohio personal injury lawyers at GBM Law have been fighting for the rights of accidents for more than 30 years. We have reached a number of positive outcomes in delivery truck accidents and are here to help you. If you have been injured or are dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s accident, we are available to provide an immediate case evaluation and review of your legal rights and options. Contact us today to discuss your potential case.

GBM Law Attorney Matthew Ice Joins The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Organization

If you are unfamiliar with The National Trial Lawyers, it is an invitation-only organization, which extends membership to elite attorneys for superior qualifications, trial results and leadership in their respective state. Selection is based on a thorough process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research and only a select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state or region are chosen to participate.

Though Matt has been practicing law for over 23 years, he has been a valued and reputable Plaintiff’s Attorney with Geier, Bowman and McLafferty, LLC for almost 14 years. During his career he has represented clients in over 40 of Ohio’s counties as well as Federal Courts in both the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio. Matt has also been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” for 3 straight years.

Matt genuinely cares about each and every one of his clients and is dedicated to securing the best possible outcome for them.

If you have suffered a personal injury, don’t wait. Call Geiser, Bowman and McLafferty, LLC today at 614-222-4444.

$317,000 Settlement for Roll Over Crash

As the result of a serious roll over crash, our client sustained numerous fractures to his arm, back and ribs. Due to the severity of the arm fracture, surgery was required. Attorney Matthew E. Ice with GBM Law obtained a settlement of $317,000 for his client.

$815,000 Settlement for Car Crash Victim

Attorney Matthew E. Ice with GBM Law obtained an $815,000 settlement for a client who was an injured passenger in a car crash. When another motorist failed to yield the right of way, our client suffered serious injury to his spine, requiring several surgeries and months of therapy.

Serious Head on Collision case resolved in Mediation

Following a serious head on collision that left a driver with facial fractures, an ankle fracture, and a closed head injury, GBM Law was hired to represent a young man in a fight against an insurance company that said the crash was his fault.

Through key witness testimony and an accident reconstruction, the insurance company was convinced in mediation that they should settle and paid $487,500.

Should I Report an Accident If I Did Not Have Car Insurance?

The law requires that all motorists have car insurance. However, a person may have a right to be reimbursed for personal injuries and property damage even if they do not have insurance at the time of a car accident. If you were not insured at the time of your car accident, you should notify the at fault party’s insurance company of the fact that you were injured. The police should provide you with the at fault driver’s car insurance information. More importantly, you should see a medical provider such as an urgent care or local emergency room to make sure your injuries are properly diagnosed. This is for your own safety because injuries may be very serious even though the symptoms might seem minimal.

If you do not own a car, then consider buying an insurance bond. An insurance bond is not expensive and the bond will provide you with coverage when you are driving a car owned by someone else. If you were involved in a car accident, don’t t give up; get help. Call a lawyer to receive advice and assistance.