Steve Nash got a slam dunk in the legal sense this week, as he won an appeal on a previous decision in a case involving a fitness chain that bears his name.
The Victoria native and former NBA star had filed a civil suit against Steve Nash Fitness World (SNFW) & Sports Club in October 2016 through his holding company B&L Holdings Inc.
The suit claimed that SNFW’s continued use of Nash’s endorsement after he had left the organization two years prior contravened California law, and sought damages for alleged breaches of contract and misrepresentation.
Last summer, the suit was dismissed, with the judge siding with the defendants on the grounds that Nash’s notice of civil claim had failed to disclose a proper cause of action.
“[The judge] found there was no genuine issue for trial as the defendants had properly acquired the endorsement, and B & L’s allegations of illegality were unsupported by any evidence,” reads the court summary.
But Nash appealed, and on Wednesday, June 6, he won an appeal of the ruling.
In his decision, Justice Richard Goepel wrote, “The underlying issue in this litigation is whether under California law a business can continue to use the endorsement of a celebrity when the celebrity is no longer using the business’ product.”
Goepel ruled that the previous judge had “misapplied the test for summary judgment” by placing the onus of establishing whether there is no genuine issue for trial on B & L.
“Although the defendants [SNFW] showed the endorsement was properly obtained,” he wrote, “they failed to provide a complete answer to the allegation that continued use of the endorsement contravened California law.”