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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Teammates At Odds Over ‘Athletes For Life’

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Former NFL player and Olympic athlete Willie Gault says he co-founded Athletes for Life as a charitable foundation to deliver free medical services to people who need them, including a portable echocardiogram to be unveiled Friday before the Super Bowl in Arizona. Gault's former Raiders teammate, Gregory Leon Bell, also formed a group called Athletes for Life and has threatened to sue Gault's group for violating its intellectual property rights and "usurping its goodwill."

Gault's group and co-plaintiff Signalife, which makes the ECG machine, seek declaratory judgment in Superior Court.

They claim that their medical-services group has national and international scope and that the defendants' much smaller group has much more limited aims: i.e., promoting sports for kids, such as the Punt, Pass & Kick program.

Gault's group also says that Bell has acknowledged this, "also commenting that the higher profile of the (plaintiff) Foundation and its activities was benefiting the California AFL by raising awareness of Bell's organization, saying, 'No one knew about us before you.'"

The defendants have sent a demand letter to the plaintiffs.

The complaint continues: "The accusation of 'usurping good will' is particularly ironic not only because the Foundation's good will is so much more substantial than that of AFL California, but given Bell's earlier comments to Gault that it was the Foundation that had benefited Bell's entity by raising its exposure. The timing of the letter - occurring just days before the highly publicized launch of the Foundation's Life Mobile at the upcoming Super Bowl - cannot be accidental."

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