Akeem Daniel, a former Northern Illinois running back who graduated in 2015, has filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that fantasy sports sites Fan Duel and Draft Kings violated the name-usage and other related rights of thousands of college basketball and football players. The suit claims Lanham Act violations, along with violations of laws in New York and Massachusetts, where the two defendants are incorporated. The action against FanDuel claims violations since November 2011; the action against DraftKings claims violations for players who have been on college rosters since 2012, for use of names beginning in 2013.
The action seeks damages, disgorgement of profits, and injunctive relief proscribing further use of the player’s names or images.
(The cases are Akeem Daniels v. DraftKings Inc., case number 1:16-cv-01220, and Akeem Daniels v. FanDuel Inc., case number 1:16-cv-01223, both in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.)