Another Headache for the NFL and Riddell

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, helmet maker Riddell Inc. and the NFL were sued by more than 50 former football players and families of deceased players in a new lawsuit in Louisiana Federal Court. The proposed class action alleges that the NFL made “material representations” that several brain conditions such as early-onset dementia, memory loss, and ALS, were not caused by the players’ time in the NFL and the NFL failed to protect its players.

The suit further alleges that the NFL was aware of the damagers of football as early as 1994 when it created the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee to look into concussions. The lawsuit, which alleges that the NFL conspired to mislead players and the public about the dangers of repeated head injuries, argues that the NFL repeatedly “refuted the connection between concussions and brain injury.”

This most recent suit comes after the NFL reached an uncapped settlement with former players in multidistrict litigation, affirmed by the Third Circuit, over alleged head injuries with payouts based on the severity of each player’s conditions. The settlement could ultimately pay close to $1 billion with the most severely affected receiving up to $5 million.

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