Lawsuits Becoming a Headache for NHL as Fourth Concussion Suit is Filed

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, yet another lawsuit was filed against the National Hockey League regarding alleged brain injuries sustained by its players.  This lawsuit is the fourth of its kind to be served on the NHL within the last nine months.  Unlike the other three, this suit was filed by a lone plaintiff, former Boston Bruin John Rohloff. Rohloff’s complaint, filed in the US District Court for the District of Minnesota, alleges that the NHL either was aware or should have been aware of…
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NCAA Reaches Settlement, Offering Rule Changes to Concussion Class-Action Plaintiffs

On Tuesday, the NCAA filed a proposed settlement in the US District Court of Chicago to potentially end the class-action head-trauma lawsuit.  The preliminary settlement will create a $70 million fund for diagnosing current and former college athletes for brain trauma and other head related injuries.  The NCAA is currently awaiting approval by Judge John Z. Lee. The proposed deal also sets up a new and uniform return-to-play policy, treatment requirements, and protocol for athletes who sustain head injuries.  The fund will be made available…
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Former NFL Players Accused Union of Conspiring to Conceal Risks of Head Injuries

NFL veterans Christian Ballard (Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle) and Gregory Westbrooks (New Orleans Saints linebacker) have filed a lawsuit against the National Football League Players Association, accusing the union of fraud, negligence, and civil conspiracy. Targeting a retirement board which includes three union representatives, the complaint alleged that the board, since at least the 1990s, has paid disability payments to retired players with traumatic brain injury (TBI).  From reviewing such claims, the union knew about the dangers associated with traumatic brain injuries, according to the…
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Judge Gives Preliminary Approval to Revised Concussion Settlement

Presiding Judge Anita Brody in the NFL concussion suit gave a preliminary approval of the revised settlement deal that lifts a compensation cap imposed on damages.  Judge Brody wrote, “A class action settlement that offers prompt relief is superior to the likely alternative — years of expensive, difficult and uncertain litigation, with no assurance of recovery, while retired players’ physical and mental conditions continue to deteriorate,” In a statement, NFL Senior V.P. Anastasia Danias said,  “We will work with plaintiffs’ counsel to provide notice to…
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NFL Offers a Blank Check for Qualifying Retired Players

The NFL filed a revised settlement offer today after Judge Anita Brody rejected its $765 million settlement proposal in January. The new proposal promises that the “funds will be available to any retired player who develops a qualifying neurocognitive condition,” according to the NFL. In a statement, the NFL said, “Today’s agreement reaffirms the N.F.L.’s commitment to provide help to those retired players and their families who are in need, and to do so without the delay, expense and emotional cost associated with protracted…
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Does it Look Silly? Padres Reliever Alex Torres Says Safety over Sleekness.

It may look awkward and uncomfortable, but this protective cap could make the difference.  That seems to be the message Padres pitcher Alex Torres was making when he wore a protective cap during the Saturday night’s game. While the media hype is on NFL given the concussion class-action lawsuit, the awareness of concussion dangers has spread out both vertically and horizontally.  It has tinkled down to youth sports and spread to other professional sports like baseball. Although it is not a contact sports per se,…
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Dan Marino Pulls Out From Concussion Lawsuit

Only a day after reports of filing a concussion lawsuit, Marino announced a withdrawal from the suit.   In his statement to Sports Illustrated, he said, “Within the last year I authorized a claim to be filed on my behalf just in case I needed future medical coverage to protect me and my family in the event I later suffered from the effects of head trauma.”  He further said he was unaware that his name would be “automatically” attached to the suit when he authorized the…
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Dan Marino Files Concussion Lawsuit Against the NFL

On May 28, Dan Marino with 14 other former players filed a lawsuit against the NFL who allegedly misled the players about the long-term effects of concussions.  The suit accuses the NFL’s “carelessness, negligence, intentional misconduct” related to the dangers of concussions.  However, according to USA Today, Marino does not have “significant history of documented concussions” but suffered a neck injury.  The suit does not provide any details on Marino’s current health.  Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, Bob Little, Randy White, and the estate of…
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NHL in Fight with Insurer over Concussion Lawsuits

The National Hockey League is currently being sued in two separate lawsuits by former players who allege that the league concealed the long-term effects of concussions and failed to adequately warn them of the same.  On April 17, the NHL was sued again – this time by one of its insurers (TIG Insurance Co., a New Hampshire-based unit of Fairfax Financial Holdings, Ltd.), a company that hopes to limit or avoid its duty to defend the league in the existing cases and the new suits…
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NHL Faces Off with a New Concussion Suit

This week the NHL was hit with another concussion-based lawsuit brought against it by nine former hockey players.  The 109-page court filing accuses the league of negligence for failing to properly warn and protect players from the risks involved with repeated head trauma.  In pertinent part the complaint reads, “[D]espite the fact that the NHL’s violent game design induces head trauma, including concussions, the NHL has failed and continues to fail to warn its players of the risks to their lives and the devastating and…
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