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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

9th Circuit Stays Out of Minor Leaguers’ Fight With MLB

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday refused to touch a federal judge's rulings in a labor dispute between minor league baseball players and Major League Baseball.

In a putative class action, lead plaintiff Aaron Senne - who played for the Miami Marlins organization from 2010 to 2013 - claims Major League Baseball underpays its amateur players.

He originally sued three Major League clubs, Major League Baseball and its commissioner Bud Selig in 2014, eventually adding all 30 Major League teams as defendants.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero refused to dismiss the suit in July, and he conditionally certified the putative class in October.

But he had dismissed 10 of the stated wage and hour claims in late 2014 and consolidated the case with another class action that did not state the same claims as Senne's action.

In July 2015, the players sought leave to file a motion for reconsideration in light of the 10 new state class action claims not asserted by the Senne plaintiffs, but Spero denied the motion.

The players petitioned the Ninth Circuit to vacate Spero's decision, but the Circuit's three-judge panel denied the petition in a one-page order.

"Petitioners have not demonstrated that this case warrants the intervention of this court by means of the extraordinary remedy of mandamus," the circuit judges wrote.

The case will continue to proceed in the district court.

A Major League Baseball representative said the league did not have a comment on the order, and the plaintiffs' lead counsel did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment Wednesday morning.

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