SAN DIEGO, June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Dealing a crushing blow to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the United States District Court for the Southern District of California has issued a ruling (link here) requiring the jury to conclude that the NSCA misled the public and knowingly published a study that included fabricated injury data about CrossFit training in its Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in order to harm CrossFit in the marketplace.
The study at issue, the most popular ever to be published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, did not originally include any reference to injuries. The discovery process revealed that the NSCA manipulated the study through the peer-review process by pressuring the authors to include false injury data.
The NSCA was also found to have intentionally concealed evidence and to have committed perjury. In issuing this scathing ruling listing examples of the concealed evidence, the Court noted that "Unfortunately, the Court could go on. But the Court does not need to. There is plainly sufficient evidence to find willfulness, bad faith, or fault on the part of the NSCA in withholding the recently discovered documents and in lying under oath in the federal proceedings."
Though the Court noted that it could award terminating sanctions – entering default due to grossly improper behavior in litigation – the Court opted to inflict severe monetary, evidentiary and issue sanctions. In addition to paying CrossFit's legal fees, the NSCA must:
(1) Submit to, and pay for, a forensic analysis of its servers so CrossFit and the Court can evaluate the full scope of the NSCA's discovery misconduct.
(2) Under penalty of perjury, obtain declarations from all relevant NSCA personnel either (a) assuring or reaffirming that no documents relevant to this litigation have been destroyed or (b) admitting to any destruction.
Should the case go to trial, the jury will be required to accept the following statements, and many others (link here), as true:
(1) The NSCA had a commercial motivation for making the false statement in the study.
(2) The NSCA and CrossFit are in commercial competition.
(3) The NSCA made the false statement in the study with the intention of disparaging CrossFit and thereby driving consumers to the NSCA.
(4) The NSCA actively supported state legislation that would regulate personal trainers.
The issue sanctions leave no doubt that the NSCA knowingly published the false statement to stifle competition and protect its own entrenched interests. Given the breadth and force of these sanctions, a jury would have little left to decide in this case other than the amount of damages the NSCA owes CrossFit. The NSCA and CrossFit have not yet determined whether the case will be settled or whether it will proceed to trial.
Contact: David Marin
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nice-try-national-strength-and-conditioning-association-300474092.html
SOURCE CrossFit, Inc.