Category Archives: Concussions

NFL Takes its Turn, Asks High Court to Not Review Concussion Settlement

A few weeks ago, it was the players. Now, the National Football League is asking the Supreme Court to not reject a deal between the league and roughly 20,000 former players dealing with systemic injuries of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals expressly approved a settlement that was expected to provide the two certified classes with more than $900 million of relief. The approval of the settlement, authorized earlier this year, was met with resistance. A group of players petitioned the…

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NFL Hit with New CTE Lawsuit in Southern District of Florida

The latest in a string of head injury lawsuits to hit the National Football League was recently filed on November 21, 2016 in federal court in the Southern District of Florida. As awareness of the long-term head injuries arises, so does litigation against professional sports teams in recent years with especially high-profile cases brought against the NFL. In this most recent iteration, 38 named former NFL players have sued on behalf of a group of 141 retired players seeking workers’ compensation benefits for chronic traumatic…

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Arena Football League Insurer Gets the First Down in Concussion Lawsuit

Although it may seem like the NFL is always involved in concussion litigation, another football organization — Arena Football League — is facing accusations over its own concussion procedures. In June 2015, Lorenzo Breland, who played for the Tulsa Talons and the New Orleans Voodoo during his time with the league, sued the AFL after suffering from two concussions. Breland suffered his first blow to the head in 2011. Then in 2014, he suffered a second concussion that ended his football career. Breland sued Arena…

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Concerns Over Efficacy of Historic CTE Settlement Reach the Supreme Court

Major fault-lines are coming to the fore in one of the most high-profile class action lawsuits dealing with the NFL and players affected by a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Earlier this month, a group of plaintiffs requested the Supreme Court of the United States refuse to review a pair of appeals, submitted by other plaintiffs, challenging the efficacy of an April 2015 settlement. Specifically, the appeals focus on the argument that the current settlement will not be “enough” for former players with…

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NHL Seeks To Have Wrongful Death Claims Checked

On November 4, 2016, the NHL sought to have Judge Gary Feinerman of the Northern District of Illinois reconsider the court’s previous decision to allow relatives of deceased hockey player Derek Boogaard to file wrongful death claims against the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHL argued the claims fell under the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and should be preempted. Judge Feinerman had previously agreed with the player’s family, which alleged the NHL promoted violence and implied head trauma was not dangerous and did not…

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Boston University Brain Bank Confirms Kevin Turner Died of ALS

On November 3, 2016, a Boston University researcher confirmed that former NFL player Kevin Turner died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The statement was made in an effort to clarify conflicting media reports, as diagnoses of both ALS and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, can simultaneously be correct. First, neuropathologist Ann McKee concluded that she stands by her initial discovery that CTE caused Turner’s fatal neurological disorder, describing her findings as “the best circumstantial evidence we will ever get that this ALS-type of motor…

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Plaintiffs in Concussion Suit Respond to WWE, Inc. Sanctions Motions

Earlier this month, attorneys for World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) were accused of filing “abusive” sanctions motions against plaintiffs’ attorneys in a class action lawsuit centering on wrestler’s injuries sustained from concussions. The accusations involve a set of interrogatories, signed by plaintiffs’ attorney Konstantine Kyros, where two of the plaintiffs allegedly claimed to have knowledge of fraud by the WWE. Attorneys for the WWE, however, contend that this information directly contradicts previous deposition testimony, where the plaintiffs claimed not to have knowledge of purported WWE…

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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…

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Another Tackle for the NCAA: Ex-MSU Football Player Brings Concussion Lawsuit

The NCAA has been tackling concussion litigation for years, and on Friday, September 30, 2016, an ex-Missouri State University football player brought another concussion lawsuit to add to the NCAA’s defense list. Richard Walker, who played football for MSU from 1976-79, suffered four traumatic brain injuries and about a dozen blackouts during his time as a student athlete. Walker filed this lawsuit in an Indiana federal court, alleging that the defendants, which include the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and the NCAA, knew of and concealed…

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Getting Tossed Around: Second Circuit Dismisses Premature Appeal in WWE Concussion Lawsuit

On September 27, 2016, the Second Circuit dismissed a former WWE wrestler’s appeal, reasoning that the appeal needed to wait until he and the other wrestlers suing the WWE handle their claims in district court. The attempted appeal arose out of a lawsuit against the WWE for allegedly hiding the risks of traumatic brain injuries. Back in May, William Albert Haynes III told the Second Circuit that he had the right to appeal the district court’s dismissal of his claims. Haynes argued that a…

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