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Pike & Lustig, LLP. We see solutions where others see problems.

Federal Appeals Court Rules in Favor of NBA Star Zion Williamson in Contract Dispute With Florida-Based Agent

West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney 2023-01-26 16-48-30

On May 7th, 2024, News Observer reported that a federal appellate court has ruled in favor of NBA star Zion Williamson in a five-year long breach of contract case. The court determined that Mr. Williamson is not liable for breaching a contract with a Florida-based agent because that alleged agreement was never valid in the first place. Here, our West Palm Beach breach of contract attorneys provide a comprehensive overview of the case.

Background: Former Agent Sued Zion Williamson for Breach of Contract 

Gina Ford—the owner and operator of a Florida-based company called Prime Sports Marketing—filed a breach of contract lawsuit against New Orleans Pelicans star and former Duke University college basketball player Zion Williamson. Ms. Ford sought nearly $100 million in damages. The dispute centers around an alleged contract—which the NBA player did not abide by—that was purportedly signed by Mr. Williamson:

  1. While he was a student at Duke University
  2. After he declared for the NBA draft; and
  3. Before he was actually drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans.

 Defense: No Contract Formed, Agent Failed to Follow North Carolina Law 

The agent was seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from the NBA star through the breach of contract lawsuit. The defense of the claim argued that no breach of contract occurred because no valid contract was ever actually formed. Specifically, the defense emphasized that Ms. Ford and her agency failed to follow the requirements of North Carolina state law for agent contracts. That law exists, in part, to protect college athletes. As such, they argued that the alleged agreement was null and void. Notably, it is North Carolina state law that matters in this case because Mr. Williamson was a college athlete at Duke University at the time of the alleged agreement.

Federal Appellate Court: Zion Williamson Not Liable for Breach of Contract Damages

Initially, United States District Court Judge Loretta Biggs of the Middle District of North Carolina ruled in favor of Zion Williamson in the contract dispute case. The decision was appealed by the plaintiff. Upon review, the appellate court affirmed the decision. The court found that Mr. Williamson is not liable for breach of contract damages sought by the agent and her company. THe decision is the end of a protracted legal battle. The appellate court confirmed that agent’s failure to comply with the non-compliance with North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act rendered the alleged agreement null and void. No valid contract was ever formed between the parties.

Get Help From Our Florida Breach of Contract Lawyer Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida business litigation attorney has extensive experience handling breach of contract claims. If you are locked up in breach of contract litigation, we are here as a legal resource that you can trust. Contact us today for a strictly confidential initial consultation. Our firm handles breach of contract litigation in Palm Beach County and throughout South Florida.


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