Robin Antonick, a designer on John Madden Football, filed a lawsuit against EA recently, looking for monetary compensation and credit for his work. He claims the current generation's installments were "derived from software" he helped develop. But according to statements from Trip Hawkins (via LA Times), Antonick's recollection of the past is a bit off.
First of all, he says that Antonick didn't work side-by-side with Hawkins in the office as he claims, but was rather a contractor who worked out of his home in Chicago. Hawkins also claims that Antonick was "one of many" people who worked on the game and wasn't responsible for "driving the game" at any point. Apparently there's press corroboration to some of this, as well -- Hawkins' four-year stint developing the game would be referred to as "Trip's Folly" internally, suggesting that Antonick's role was more diminished than he suggests.
Hawkins also claims that Antonick was only commissioned to work on the first 8-bit game, and wasn't tapped to help work on subsequent 16-bit versions of the game, which he claims needed "more advanced" programmers than Antonick.