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NCAA Sues Electronic Arts Over Athlete Lawsuit Settlement

The National Collegiate Athletic Association sued Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), saying the video-game maker hasn’t agreed to indemnify the NCAA for legal claims by college athletes and hasn’t maintained insurance to do so.

The NCAA is a co-defendant in a consolidated lawsuit by student basketball and football players who allege their likenesses were used in video games without compensation. Electronic Arts in September agreed to settle the claims for $40 million. The NCAA wasn’t involved in the settlement.

The settlement would eliminate Electronic Arts’ contractual duty to indemnify the Indianapolis-based NCAA for any liability, as well as for its attorneys’ fees, arising from the NCAA-themed football and basketball video games, according to the complaint filed Nov. 4 in Fulton County, Georgia.

“EA has continually refused to accept its responsibility for its breaches of the video game licensing agreements and its obligation to indemnify the NCAA under these agreements,” according to the complaint.

John Reseburg, a spokesman for Redwood City, California-based Electronic Arts, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The case is National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Collegiate Licensing Co., 2013CV238557, Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in federal court in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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