Maggie Haney v USA Gymnastics, Inc. and Mark Busby

United States District Court – District of New Jersey

Case 3:21-cv-07213-AET-LHG


On 29 March 2021, Maggie Haney filed a Complaint against USA Gymnastics, Inc. and Mark Busby, claiming the following:

Count I: for a declaratory judgment under the Sports Act that (in summary):

  1. USAG failed to give Haney adequate notice of the charges against her;
  2. USAG failed to establish timely hearing procedures that included reasonable discovery;
  3. USAG failed to identify witnesses for Haney in advance of the hearing;
  4. USAG failed to provide Haney copies of USAG’s investigative file;
  5. USAG failed to provide Haney copies of exhibits prior to presenting them at hearing;
  6. USAG failed to keep the hearing proceedings confidential;
  7. USAG failed to comply with the most lax evidentiary rules;
  8. Busby withheld exculpatory evidence from the hearing panel;
  9. Busby falsely instructed the hearing panel that Haney was not entitled to due process;
  10. the hearing panel was not impartial and was, in fact, biased.

Count II: for money damages under the Sports Act.

Count III: for Vacatur of the Arbitrator’s Award under the FAA.


On 2 August 2021, the defendants (USAG, and Busby) filed a Motion to Dismiss saying as follows:

  1. The Complaint should be dismissed in its entirety, with prejudice, for failing to state any claim upon which relief can be granted.
  2. The Complaint against Busby personally should be dismissed due to a lack of jurisdiction.
  3. Haney’s claim to vacate the arbitrator’s award is time-barred.
  4. Counts I and II must be dismissed because Haney has no private right of action under the Sports Act. The Sports Act expressly states that “no provision of this chapter shall create a private right of action”. The Sports Act mandates that challenges against NGB’s proceed through arbitration. Haney’s only remedy was to seek vacatur of the arbitrator’s award, but this is now time-barred.
  5. Count III is time barred. The Federal Arbitration Act requires a party seeking to vacate an arbitration award to serve notice on the adverse party within 3 months after the award is delivered. Here, the arbitrator’s award was dated 3 December 2020, Haney filed her Complaint on 29 March 2021, and did not serve it on USAG until 30 March 2021, and on Busby until 3 June 2021.
  6. The New Jersey District Court has no jurisdiction over Busby, a resident of Indiana.


The Motion to Dismiss is opposed by Haney, the parties are now to agree a Schedule to brief and present oral argument to the court.