New Orleans Pelicans’ star Zion Williamson has emerged victorious in a lawsuit a former agent had filed against him.
NBA.com has reported that Williamson has won a case against a Florida-based marketing agent who was seeking $100 million in damages from the former Duke star.
The 19-year-old NBA player was being sued by Prime Marketing Sports after he left the marketing company to sign with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Williamson’s original deal with Prime Marketing Sports required him to remain there for five years. He ended up signing with CAA less than a month after signing the deal with Prime Marketing Sports. Williamson’s attorneys argued that his contract with Prime Marketing Sports was unlawful under North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act, because Prime Marketing Sports is not certified by the NBA Players Association nor a registered athlete agent in North Carolina or Florida.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, ruled on Wednesday that Prime Marketing Sports marketing agent Gina Ford’s contract with Williamson was deemed void as Ford was not a licensed agent in the state at the time. The contract also did not comply with key requirements that are outlined by the state’s sports agent law.
“We are grateful that the court invalidated the contract based on the merits of the case, in line with the clear, relevant requirements under North Carolina law,” Williamson’s lawyer, Jeffrey S. Klein, said in a written statement. “The court confirmed that actual facts matter, which hopefully will serve as a cautionary tale for unscrupulous agents looking to prey on student-athletes.”
Ford’s attorney, Willie E. Gary, said the order “impacts only some of the claims in the North Carolina case.”
“Most of the counterclaims remain, and we intend to vigorously pursue them,” he said. “We are also reviewing all options for appeal.”