News & ToursFebruary 10, 2016

Caddie lawsuit against the PGA Tour gets thrown out by judge

A California court has thrown out a class-action lawsuit brought by caddies against the PGA Tour, reports Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press. The lawsuit, which was originally filed by 80 caddies on Feb. 3, 2015, wound up including 168 caddies. The crux of the complaint came from the caddies being forced to wear bibs that display tournament sponsors without getting a cut of the money.

But U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria ruled the PGA Tour's longtime policy didn't violate any law.

"The caddies' overall complaint about poor treatment by the Tour has merit, but this federal lawsuit about bibs does not," Chhabria wrote in a ruling issued on Feb. 9.

"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."

In the suit, caddies also claimed they are "treated as second-class participants of the game." Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, caddies were forced to take shelter in a metal shed during a thunderstorm at the Honda Classic while players waited in the clubhouse.

Chhabria's line about "poor treatment" may be a sliver of hope for caddies should they appeal -- which seems likely based on the reaction of their attorney, Gene Egdorf.

“I’m not overly surprised, but I am disappointed. I will strongly advise my clients to appeal, I like our chances in appeal,” Egdorf told Golf Channel.


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