Caddies file appeal in $50 million lawsuit against PGA Tour

More than 168 professional golf caddies have filed an appeal seeking to overturn a ruling made back in February that dismissed a $50 million lawsuit against the PGA tour.

In summary, the bagmen are unhappy about wearing the tournament sponsor’s logo on their bib and they want compensation for their role as an advertising agent. Unfortunately for them the U.S. District Court Judge, Vince Chhabria, didn’t see it that way when he made his initial ruling three months ago:

“The caddies’ overall complaint about poor treatment by the Tour has merit, but this federal lawsuit about bibs does not.”

“Caddies have been required to wear the bibs for decades,” he continued. “So caddies know when they enter the profession, that wearing a bib during tournaments is part of the job. . . . for that reason, there is no merit to the caddies’ contention that contracts somehow prevent the Tour from requiring them to wear bibs.”
 
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Well know the caddies have responded with an appeal against this initial ruling:

“The record demonstrates that the court’s dismissal of the caddies’ complaint resulted from the court’s improper insistence on resolving fact issues with unfounded suppositions and one-sided evidence, and without reference to governing legal standards or reasonable inferences supporting the caddies’ claims,” the appeal states.

The 66-page document claims that the lawsuit was unfairly dismissed because of a “collection of errors.” Only time will tell if the caddies gain access to the enormous “bib sponsorship” revenue, estimated to be worth $50 million annually.
 
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Golf Digest reported on a story last year – the day the lawsuit was filed – commenting on the PGA TOUR’s policy of not allowing caddies into the clubhouse, even in the case of a severe thunderstorm.
 


 
In my opinion caddies do a sterling job. It’s easy to talk about the vast sums of money some of them make, but they are regularly on the receiving end of PGA TOUR initiated shafting. It’s stories you hear, like the one about a caddie having to pass out from heat exhaustion before the TOUR would let them wear shorts, that tell which party is the villain.

Yes a lot of caddies make a good wage, but the vast majority find it difficult to earn consistent income if their man is struggling. It was a pernickety lawsuit, but they don’t have much choice if they want to get the culture to change.