Shakopee bar owner prevails in bout against UFC

August 17, 2012

A federal judge ruled this week that a Shakopee bar owner could not be personally liable for allegedly showing an Ultimate Fighting Championship bout in his establishment.

The fight, between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Keith Jardine, took place back in 2009, but it took until this past Tuesday for the personal-liability issue to work its way through federal court.

Judge Richard H. Kyle ruled that the pay-per-view broadcast’s owner, Joe Hand Promotions, Inc., had not demonstrated that there was “no distinction” between the corporate entity of Kelley’s Bar and the entity’s owner.

Score one for the little guy.  And it’s no small thing.  As Bloomberg News explains, hundreds of such lawsuits are filed each year:

The companies send investigators into bars and restaurants the night of an event to gather photographic or video evidence that the establishment showed it without paying the fee.

The price for watching a pay-per-view boxing event at home might be $50, while businesses typically pay $1,500 to $3,000 or more depending on the size of the venue, said Joseph Gagliardi, president of J&J Sports Productions Inc., which promotes boxing matches.

Showing a boxing match, soccer game or mixed martial arts event without paying the commercial fee could potentially result in a bar or restaurant owner getting hit with a $260,000 bill.


6 Responses to “Shakopee bar owner prevails in bout against UFC”

  1. kelley Says:

    any one interested in representing me in counter claim ? this whole thing was brought to court on the behalf of what others have done. i had nothing to do with this and was brought to court. someone has to stick up for the defense of any bar. Joe hand productions could send out a signal and send a investigator in and say they seen it at the establishment. any owner or establishment wouldn’t have to know anything. but then are just brought to court to settle out of court. i do believe there could be a class action against Joe Hand promotions on behave of them legally bullying there way to settlements..

    • Anonymous Says:

      I am going through this right now….we owned an Internet cafe, as a partnership, my business partner was working on June 23, and was streaming the fight via Internet when someone came in and took pictures..I just found out about this law suit that names me as a co defendant, although I had no knowledge whatsoever,. My business partner has admitted complete responsibility, what do I need to do to get this out of my name.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Anyone with any information please email me at,

  3. Danneil Says:

    From extensive research and talking to 2 of my friends who are business litigation attorneys, the worst thing you can do is ignore this because Thomas Riley is counting on getting a default judgment. They file thousands of cases each year hoping to win a bunch of default judgments or scare you into a quick $30,000 settlement if you send the money in 10 days. There are a few lawyers who specialize in these cases such as Elliott Stone (website: Keep in mind that there are many escalating factors involved such as showing the fights with the intention of profiting from sales of food/beverage and cover charge. Hiring an attorney will give to the proper tools argue your ground of little escalating factors or that the cable company who installed your box put in residential settings when setting everything up. Good luck. Don’t let Joe Hand or Riley squeeze any money out of you that you shouldn’t have to pay.

    • Ben Wynkoop Says:

      I checked out his website. After talking to him there is a possibility I may not even fall under the statute. He has a few other practice are bankruptcy and student loan law. Maybe I’ll have to get rid of some student loan debt while he is at it 😉

      • Ben Says:

        p.s. I received the initial letter 9 months ago, so they only have 3 months left under statute of limitations.

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