Case: Flores v. The National Football League

1:22-cv-00871 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Feb. 1, 2022

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case alleges NFL race discrimination in hiring of coaching staff. On February 1, 2022, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores--who had been fired by the Dolphins and then rejected from other coaching jobs--sued the NFL and its 32 teams in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Flores, who is Black, put forth evidence that he was interviewed for coaching roles only to satisfy NFL rules, not because he was under serious consideration. Represented by private emp…

This case alleges NFL race discrimination in hiring of coaching staff. On February 1, 2022, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores--who had been fired by the Dolphins and then rejected from other coaching jobs--sued the NFL and its 32 teams in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Flores, who is Black, put forth evidence that he was interviewed for coaching roles only to satisfy NFL rules, not because he was under serious consideration. Represented by private employment attorneys, Flores sued on behalf of a putative class consisting of all Black NFL coaches, managers, and candidates for those positions. He alleged that the NFL discriminated against him and the class members in their hiring practices in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and New York and New Jersey antidiscrimination laws. Flores sought injunctive relief consisting of policies meant to increase Black ownership in NFL teams, give Black players and coaches additional input into the hiring process, increase the number of Black coaches, and mandate transparency in hiring procedures. Additionally, Flores sought compensatory damages, punitive damages, and declaratory relief.  

The plaintiff filed an amended complaint on April 7, 2022, adding allegations that the Houston Texans opted not to hire him for their open head coaching position and that the Dolphins breached his contract and attempted to claw back compensation paid to him in retaliation for the filing of this lawsuit. The plaintiff alleged that these actions violated § 1981. In addition, he asserted that the Dolphins' retaliation violated the Florida Private Whistleblower Statute. The plaintiff further amended his complaint to specifically allege both disparate treatment and disparate impact discrimination.

As of April 10, 2022, the case was ongoing.

Summary Authors

John Juenemann (2/4/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/62644760/parties/flores-v-the-national-football-league/

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

Class Action Complaint

Flores v. National Football League

Feb. 1, 2022 Complaint
22

First Amended Class Action Complaint

April 7, 2022 Complaint

Resources

Title Description External URL

Judicial Independence, Employment Discrimination Studies Funded

Ann Nicholson

This brief article describes the Clearinghouse's award of $12,000 to build its collection of employment discrimination class actions brought by private plaintiffs. Nov. 1, 2008 https://law.wustl.edu/...

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/62644760/flores-v-the-national-football-league/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Denver Broncos, John Doe Teams 1 through 29, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., The National Football League. (Filing Fee $ 402.00, Receipt Number ANYSDC-25668130)Document filed by Brian Flores..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 02/01/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022 Clearinghouse
2

CIVIL COVER SHEET filed..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 02/01/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022 PACER
3

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to The National Football League, re: 1 Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 02/01/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022 PACER
4

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to New York Football Giants, Inc., re: 1 Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 02/01/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022 PACER
5

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Miami Dolphins, Ltd., re: 1 Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 02/01/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022 PACER
6

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Denver Broncos, re: 1 Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 02/01/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022 PACER
7

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Michael John Willemin on behalf of Brian Flores..(Willemin, Michael) (Entered: 02/01/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022 PACER
8

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by David Evan Gottlieb on behalf of Brian Flores..(Gottlieb, David) (Entered: 02/01/2022)

Feb. 1, 2022 PACER

Case Opening Initial Assignment Notice

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER

CASE OPENING INITIAL ASSIGNMENT NOTICE: The above-entitled action is assigned to Judge Valerie E. Caproni. Please download and review the Individual Practices of the assigned District Judge, located at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/judges/district-judges. Attorneys are responsible for providing courtesy copies to judges where their Individual Practices require such. Please download and review the ECF Rules and Instructions, located at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/rules/ecf-related-instructions..(sj)

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER

Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave is so designated. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 636(c) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 73(b)(1) parties are notified that they may consent to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. Parties who wish to consent may access the necessary form at the following link: https://nysd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/AO-3.pdf. (sj)

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER

Case Designation

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER

Case Designated ECF. (sj)

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER

Case Designated ECF

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER
9

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to The National Football League. (sj) (Entered: 02/02/2022)

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER
10

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to New York Football Giants, Inc.. (sj) (Entered: 02/02/2022)

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER
11

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Miami Dolphins, Ltd.. (sj) (Entered: 02/02/2022)

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER
12

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Denver Broncos. (sj) (Entered: 02/02/2022)

Feb. 2, 2022 PACER
13

NOTICE OF INITIAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE: At the scheduled time, counsel for all parties should call 888-363-4749, Access code 3121171#, Security code 0871. Initial Conference set for 3/18/2022 at 03:00 PM before Judge Valerie E. Caproni. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 2/2/2022) (tg) (Entered: 02/02/2022)

Feb. 2, 2022 RECAP

Set/Reset Deadlines

Feb. 24, 2022 PACER
14

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Brad Scott Karp on behalf of Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., The National Football League..(Karp, Brad) (Entered: 02/24/2022)

Feb. 24, 2022 PACER
15

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Loretta Lynch on behalf of Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., The National Football League..(Lynch, Loretta) (Entered: 02/24/2022)

Feb. 24, 2022 PACER
16

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Lynn Beth Bayard on behalf of Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., The National Football League..(Bayard, Lynn) (Entered: 02/24/2022)

Feb. 24, 2022 PACER
17

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Brette Morgan Tannenbaum on behalf of Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., The National Football League..(Tannenbaum, Brette) (Entered: 02/24/2022)

Feb. 24, 2022 PACER
18

LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer or Otherwise Respond to the Complaint addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from Loretta E. Lynch dated February 24, 2022. Document filed by Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., The National Football League..(Lynch, Loretta) (Entered: 02/24/2022)

Feb. 24, 2022 PACER
19

ORDER: granting 18 Letter Motion for Extension of Time to File. Application GRANTED. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 2/24/2022) (ama) (Entered: 02/24/2022)

Feb. 24, 2022 RECAP

Set/Reset Deadlines: Denver Broncos answer due 4/11/2022; Miami Dolphins, Ltd. answer due 4/11/2022; New York Football Giants, Inc. answer due 4/11/2022; The National Football League answer due 4/11/2022. (ama)

Feb. 24, 2022 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

March 4, 2022 PACER
20

JOINT LETTER MOTION to Adjourn Conference addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from Douglas H. Wigdor dated March 4, 2022. Document filed by Brian Flores..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 03/04/2022)

March 4, 2022 RECAP
21

ORDER granting 20 Letter Motion to Adjourn Conference. Application GRANTED. The initial pretrial conference, currently scheduled for Friday, March 18, 2022 at 3:00 P.M., is adjourned to Friday, April 29, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. Pre-conference submissions are due no later than Thursday, April 21, 2022. For a description of the pre-conference submission requirements, the parties should consult the Court's Order at docket entry 13. The Court will decide whether to hold the conference in person or by teleconference once the Court has reviewed the parties' pre-conference submissions. Any amended complaint is due no later than Friday, April 8, 2022. After an amended complaint has been served on Defendants or they waive such service, the parties may file a joint stipulation for the Court's approval with a proposed deadline for Defendants to answer, move, or otherwise respond to the Amended Complaint. SO ORDERED. Initial Conference set for 4/29/2022 at 11:00 AM before Judge Valerie E. Caproni.. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 3/4/2022) (tg) (Entered: 03/04/2022)

March 4, 2022 RECAP

Set/Reset Deadlines: Amended Pleadings due by 4/8/2022. (tg)

March 4, 2022 PACER
22

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT amending 1 Complaint, against Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., The National Football League, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc., John Doe Teams 1 through 26 with JURY DEMAND.Document filed by Brian Flores, Steve Wilks, Ray Horton. Related document: 1 Complaint,..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 Clearinghouse
23

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., re: 22 Amended Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
24

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc., re: 22 Amended Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
25

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, re: 22 Amended Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
26

Summons Issued

April 7, 2022 PACER
27

Summons Issued

April 7, 2022 PACER
28

Summons Issued

April 7, 2022 PACER
22

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT amending 1 Complaint, against Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., The National Football League, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc., John Doe Teams 1 through 26 with JURY DEMAND.Document filed by Brian Flores, Steve Wilks, Ray Horton. Related document: 1 Complaint,..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 RECAP
23

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., re: 22 Amended Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
24

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc., re: 22 Amended Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
25

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, re: 22 Amended Complaint,. Document filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
26

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Houston NFL Holdings, L.P...(pc) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
27

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc...(pc) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
28

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC..(pc) (Entered: 04/07/2022)

April 7, 2022 PACER
29

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Brad Scott Karp on behalf of Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc...(Karp, Brad) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

April 18, 2022 PACER
30

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Loretta Lynch on behalf of Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc...(Lynch, Loretta) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

April 18, 2022 PACER
31

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Lynn Beth Bayard on behalf of Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc...(Bayard, Lynn) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

April 18, 2022 PACER
32

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Brette Morgan Tannenbaum on behalf of Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc...(Tannenbaum, Brette) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

April 18, 2022 PACER
33

LETTER addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from Loretta Lynch dated April 18, 2022 re: Joint Stipulation and Proposed Order re Deadline for Defendants to Answer or Otherwise Respond to Amended Complaint. Document filed by Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Denver Broncos, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc., The National Football League. (Attachments: # 1 Joint Stipulation and [Proposed] Order).(Lynch, Loretta) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

1 Joint Stipulation and [Proposed] Order

View on RECAP

April 18, 2022 RECAP
34

JOINT STIPULATION AND ORDER: The parties, by and through their undersigned attorneys, hereby stipulate andagree as follows: The time for Defendants to answer, move or otherwise respond to theAmended Complaint shall be extended from April 21, 2022 up to and including June 21, 2022. The parties shall confer regarding the briefing schedule for any motionfiled pursuant to paragraph 1. Memoranda of law in support of and in opposition to any motion made in response to the Amended Complaint may be up to 50 pages and reply memoranda may be up to 25 pages. Nothing herein shall be deemed to constitute a waiver of any claims or defenses in this matter. (Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC answer due 6/21/2022; Denver Broncos answer due 6/21/2022; Houston NFL Holdings, L.P. answer due 6/21/2022; Miami Dolphins, Ltd. answer due 6/21/2022; New York Football Giants, Inc. answer due 6/21/2022; Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc. answer due 6/21/2022; The National Football League answer due 6/21/2022.) (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 4/18/2022) (rro) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

April 18, 2022 RECAP
35

JOINT LETTER addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from Douglas H. Wigdor dated April 21, 2022 re: Initial Pretrial Conference. Document filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Case Management Plan).(Wigdor, Douglas) (Entered: 04/21/2022)

1 Text of Proposed Order Case Management Plan

View on RECAP

April 21, 2022 RECAP
36

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by John Elefterakis on behalf of Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Elefterakis, John) (Entered: 04/21/2022)

April 21, 2022 RECAP
37

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 35 Letter, filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks. ENDORSEMENT: Due to a conflict in the Court's calendar, the initial pretrial conference, currently scheduled for Friday, April 29, 2022 at 11:00 A.M., is adjourned to Monday, May 2, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. The conference will be held in person in Courtroom 443 of the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, located at 40 Foley Square, New York, New York 10007. Per the SDNY COVID-19 COURTHOUSE ENTRY PROGRAM, any person who appears at any SDNY courthouse must complete a questionnaire. Only those individuals who meet the entry requirements established by the questionnaire will be permitted entry. Additionally, any person who appears at any SDNY courthouse must comply with Standing Order M10-468 (21-MC-164), which further pertains to courthouse entry. SO ORDERED. ( Initial Conference set for 5/2/2022 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 443, 40 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge Valerie E. Caproni.) (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 4/21/2022) (tg) (Entered: 04/21/2022)

April 21, 2022 RECAP
38

ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that counsel for the parties must attend the conference in person. Any interested members of the public may attend the conference in person or remotely, by dialing 1-888-363-4749, using the access code 3121171, and the security code 0871. Recording or rebroadcasting the proceeding is strictly prohibited by law. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that by no later than Wednesday, April 27, 2022, the parties must inform the Court how many counsel and client representatives (if any) will be attending the conference in person. Each side will be allowed four representatives at counsel table, with additional seating for the parties available in surrounding chairs and the gallery. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that per the SDNY COVID-19 COURTHOUSE ENTRY PROGRAM, any person who appears at any SDNY courthouse must complete a questionnaire. Only those individuals who meet the entry requirements established by the questionnaire will be permitted entry. Additionally, any person who appears at any SDNY courthouse must comply with Standing Order M10-468 (21-MC-164), which further pertains to courthouse entry. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 4/22/2022) (tg) (Entered: 04/22/2022)

April 22, 2022 RECAP
39

LETTER addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from David E. Gottlieb dated April 27, 2022 re: Counsel Attendants for Initial Pretrial Conference. Document filed by Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Gottlieb, David) (Entered: 04/27/2022)

April 27, 2022 RECAP
40

LETTER addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from Loretta E. Lynch dated April 27, 2022 re: Initial Pretrial Conference Attendees. Document filed by Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Denver Broncos, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., John Doe Teams 1 through 26, Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc., The National Football League..(Lynch, Loretta) (Entered: 04/27/2022)

April 27, 2022 RECAP
41

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Maia Usui on behalf of Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, Denver Broncos, Houston NFL Holdings, L.P., Miami Dolphins, Ltd., New York Football Giants, Inc., Tennessee Titans Entertainment, Inc., The National Football League..(Usui, Maia) (Entered: 04/28/2022)

April 28, 2022 RECAP
42

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Johnson Lassiter Atkinson on behalf of Brian Flores, Ray Horton, Steve Wilks..(Atkinson, Johnson) (Entered: 04/29/2022)

April 29, 2022 RECAP

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Valerie E. Caproni: Initial Pretrial Conference held on 5/2/2022. Attorneys Douglas Wigdor, David Gottlieb, John Elefterakis and Johnson Atkinson present for the plaintiff. Attorneys Loretta Lynch, Brad Karp, Brette Tannenbaum and Maia Usui present for the defendants. Court Reporter Alena Lynch present. (anc)

May 2, 2022 PACER

Pretrial Conference - Initial

May 2, 2022 PACER
43

ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, for the reasons stated at the conference, Defendants' motion to compel arbitration is due no later than Tuesday, June 21, 2022, Plaintiffs' response in opposition is due no later than Friday, July 22, 202 2, and Defendants' reply in support is due no later than Friday, August 5, 2022. The parties' briefs are limited to the default page limits: 25 pages for the opening and response briefs and 10 pages for the reply brief. If any of Plaint iffs' claims remain in the litigation following the Court's resolution of the motion, Defendants will be given the opportunity to file a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if, upon reviewing Defendants' motion to compel arbitration, Plaintiffs still seek motion-related discovery, they must meet and confer with Defendants to determine whether the parties can resolve the issue without court intervention. If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute amongst themselves, Plaintiffs may file a letter brief, not to exceed five single-spaced pages, seeking leave to take motion-related discovery. Any such request is due no later than Friday, July 1, 2 022. Any response in opposition, limited to five single-spaced pages, is due no later than Friday, July 8, 2022. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the entry of a Case Management Plan is adjourned sine die and fact and expert discovery is hereby STAYED. I T IS FURTHER ORDERED that if, at any time, both parties want a settlement conference with the assigned Magistrate Judge or a referral to the Court-annexed mediation program, they may submit a joint letter requesting a referral. SO ORDERED. ( Motions due by 6/21/2022., Responses due by 7/22/2022, Replies due by 8/5/2022.) (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 5/2/2022) (tg)

May 2, 2022 RECAP