Category Archives: Concussions

Missouri Law Could Spell Trouble for NFL’s Chiefs in New Concussion Lawsuit

The NFL and over 4,500 former players are currently attempting to negotiate a settlement in the massive multi-district concussion litigation against the league.  In brief, the plaintiffs’ accuse the NFL of intentionally downplaying and concealing the risks of concussions and the role of head injuries in later-life cognitive decline.  Negotiations to resolve the matter recently resumed after U.S. District Judge Anita Brody rejected a proposed $765 million settlement deal that had been reached by the parties.  Judge Brody strongly believed that this amount would be…

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Flag on the Play – District Court Judge Rejects NFL Concussion Settlement Plan

Last fall the NFL and 4,500 ex-NFL players reached a proposed settlement deal of $765 million to end the ongoing multi-district concussion litigation.  In the underlying case, the NFL alumni accused the league of intentionally downplaying the risks of concussions and their correlation to later-life cognitive decline.  In addition to the $765 million sum, the NFL was slated to pay out $112 million in additional funds in plaintiffs’ attorney fees. However, on January 14, 2014, Judge Anita Brody for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania officially…

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Judges’ Panel Creates New Multi-District Litigation for NCAA Concussion Cases

A panel of federal judges recently ruled that ten class-action lawsuits brought against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) will be consolidated into a single multi-district litigation in Chicago.  In essence, each suit alleges that the NCAA intentionally concealed the long term-risks of concussions sustained by student athletes in a variety of college sports.  The consolidation follows in the wake of the recent $765 million settlement of the NFL’s concussion litigation, a nearly identical action brought against the league by over 4,500 former NFL alumni.…

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Concerns Raised Over Attorney Compensation in NFL Concussion Litigation Settlement

Around four months ago it was announced that over 4,500 NFL player plaintiffs and the League reached a $765 million settlement resolving the ongoing multi-district concussion litigation in Pennsylvania District Court.  In brief, the plaintiffs alleged that the NFL intentionally concealed the long-term risks of head injuries and concussions and their role in later-life cognitive decline. However, U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has yet to approve the settlement agreement, partly due to issues concerning attorney compensation.  It was…

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Are Concussion Problems Heading to MLB as First Former Major Leaguer is Posthumously Diagnosed with CTE?

Researchers at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy announced that former Major League Baseball player Ryan Freel was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”) at the time of his suicide last December.  He is the first MLB player to be officially diagnosed with the disease. CTE is a brain injury associated with repetitive brain trauma (such as concussions) which causes the abnormal build-up of tau proteins in the brain.  Early symptoms of the disease include erratic behavior and memory loss, but it…

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Fines Drop, but Study Finds Dangerous Hits Still Prevalent in NFL

A recent study by the AP analyzed the rate at which NFL players experience dangerous hits by reviewing 549 penalties called through the first 11 weeks of the 2013 football season.  It found that over the first 162 games of the year, 156 of the penalties studied involved contact with the head and neck.  Statistically, this means that nearly once per game, an NFL player receives a blow to the head or neck that could have serious health and/or career consequences.  The numbers also revealed…

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Ex-Players Sue Kansas City Chiefs Over Concussions

The Kansas City Chiefs are the latest target of concussion litigation.  On December 3, 2013, five former members of the NFL team sued for damages related to head injuries. The case was filed in a Missouri state court on Tuesday by Alexander Cooper, Joseph Phillips, Kevin Porter, Leonard Griffin, and Christopher Martin.  It is the first concussion lawsuit filed against an NFL team, rather than the league. The players allege similar complaints to those in the suit settled earlier this year.  They are suing on…

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Is it the NHL’s Turn to Take a Hit on Concussions?

On November 25, the National Hockey League was sued by 10 former players in a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.  Plaintiffs – which include NHL alumni such as Gary Leeman, Curt Bennett and Richie Dunn – assert that the NHL hasn’t done enough to protect players from the dangers posed by concussions. Similar to the several thousand plaintiffs who recently settled the concussion litigation against the NFL (for $765 million), these former NHL alums assert that “The NHL’s…

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The NCAA Faces Another Concussion Lawsuit

The number of class-action lawsuits pertaining to concussions filed against the NCAA is now at five. Attorneys for former Kansas fullback Christopher Powell filed the most recent suit in U.S. District Court in Western Missouri on November 18 alleging that the NCAA failed in its duty to protect its athletes from the concussion/head trauma hazards of football and are seeking damages for the chronic physical ailments Powell is suffering almost two decades after he finished his collegiate career. The lawsuit claims that Powell, who played…

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NFL Just Can’t Outrun the Concussion Lawsuits

No matter how hard the NFL tries to get away from the concussion lawsuits, they won’t go away. Most recently, former Chicago Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass, and former Northwestern player, John Cornell, are suing the NFL and helmet manufacture Riddell. On November 4, 2013, the two former players filed suit alleging concussion-related injuries resulting from their time on the field. Douglass, 66, was quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1969 to 1975. He later went on to play for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans…

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