By: Robert (Bob) Bianchi, Esq.:
When commenting on MSNBC on 5/19/15 with host Thomas Roberts on the lawsuits filed against Pacquiao for not “disclosing” his shoulder injury, I could not help but feel that we are becoming too litigious a society.
We now file suits not based upon sound legal principals, but upon feelings, disappointments, and a healthy sense of entitlement. But, that does not make for a good lawsuit.
Hey, life is not perfect, people are not perfect, and the law does not require that you are perfect. These cases against Pacquiao are bogus and that will be the court’s ruling.
First, there is no legally recognized contractual relationship with Pacquiao and the fans, bettors, vendors, etc… Nor did Pacquiao agree to be bound by any terms or agreements with the fans – end of the story from that legal end.
Second, even if the law were to civilly impose a contractual relationship between the fans and Pacquiao, Pacquiao did not lie or make misrepresentations on the pre-fight medical form that every fighter completes before the fight. Now, we can say he did, wish he answered differently, among other things, but the fact remains that many are not reading the form in its entirety and/or the reason the form is used in the first place.
The form is not for fans (who already bought tickets) to rely upon. We live in a consumer market that honors greatly the principal of caveat emptor, or buyer beware. There are no guarantees when you buy a ticket to a performance, one that you like, one that you value, or one with a specific result that satisfies all people. That is an impossibility that the law recognizes. Rather, the consumer purchases a ticket to view the fight. And, as a result, those who purchased a ticket, saw the fight. In truth, the form is only to make sure the boxing commission does not become liable if a person needs “evaluation” or “examination.” It is for the protection of the boxing commission, not for fans to make decisions on whether or not to purchase a ticket to view the fight. If the fans used the form to determine whether they wanted to purchase a ticket and view the fight, they did so at their own peril.
Nevertheless, Pacquiao answered the question truthfully. He may have had an injury, but not one that required “examination” or “evaluation”, which the form specifically asks. Indeed, they could change the language of the question in the future and simply ask: Are you injured? Period.
However, they will not change the language, as most all fighters fight injured in one way or the other.
In all, the cases of Milli Vanilli (of lip sinking fame) and the Mike Tyson “ear bite fight,” where the fight was terminated early, demonstrate to the public that, legally, people often do not have a leg to stand on with what happens after a ticket is purchased. There is legal precedent here that is far more egregious than Pacquiao being accused of incorrectly filling out a pre-fight medical form, a form that is vague at best.
Decision: Pacquiao KO’s this fight in court in the early rounds.