Category Archives: Concussions

Power Play: Former NHL Players Shoot for Stay of Deadlines and Bellwethers in NHL Concussion Lawsuit

On May 5, 2017, former National Hockey League players currently engaged in the concussion lawsuit submitted a letter requesting a stay of all deadlines surrounding their bid for class certification. This letter was drafted per an instruction from U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who ordered both parties to confer and simultaneously send letters outlining their positions. In the letter, the players indicate it would be impracticable to be expected to depose the NHL’s 19 experts, oppose five expert motions in limine, obtain rebuttal…

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There’s a Doctor in the House: Two Groups of Medical Experts Approved by District Judge in NFL Concussion Settlement

On May 4, 2017, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody approved two groups of medical experts in the NFL concussion settlement. These experts will lead the testing and diagnosing of players in the class to determine whether each member has a neurological condition which will qualify them for recovery under the terms of the settlement. A list comprised of these experts was submitted last month. Per the Approval signed by Judge Brody, the two panels of experts for this Settlement Program are the Appeals Advisory Panel…

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Another Sports Concussion Suit: NHL Enforcer Sues Various NHL Teams and Insurer

Mike Peluso, a former NHL enforcer, slapped the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, and an insurer with a lawsuit, is maintaining that a “newly discovered” medical report proves the teams were aware of the risks associated with head injuries, and nevertheless, continued to encourage him to play and fight. According to Peluso, he has played in over 450 games as an enforcer — a position with the primary purpose of agitating opponents and getting into fights in order to shield the skilled players…

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NHL Concussion Litigation Documents Ordered to be Made Public: Judge Unseals 28 Documents

A U.S. Federal Judge has unsealed certain documents in the long-running lawsuit over the National-Hockey League’s handling of concussions sustained by players, as the public benefit and need for the information outweighs any of the NHL’s interests in keeping the documents confidential. The judge’s order required that one of the documents, an internal email regarding fighting and rules, to be kept confidential, because the league’s privacy interest in the notes and the prejudice that it would face if the notes were released outweighed the…

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Former NFL Players Object to Class Attorneys’ Fees from the Concussion Settlement Fund

The former NFL players and their families seeking to recover from an uncapped NFL concussion litigation have objected to an additional five percent set-aside sought by the class attorneys on the case. As previously reported, in April 2015, the NFL entered into a settlement agreement with almost 22,000 former players, which established a 65-year span to compensate the class members. The deal offers payments ranging from $1.5 million to $5 million for each player, or the player’s estate, who suffered from a serious…

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Connecticut Federal Court Denies WWE’s Motion for Summary Judgement Over Lengthy Briefs

A Connecticut Federal Judge has denied World Wresting Entertainment, Inc.’s motion for summary judgment regarding two former wrestlers’ claims that the long-term injuries associated with repeated head traumas were hidden from them, as both sides submitted briefs that were too long. As background, former WWE wrestlers, Evan Singleton and Vito LoGrasso sued the WWE in January 2015 for the WWE’s alleged concealment of the long-term health risks associated with repeated head injuries, and further, mislead wrestlers into performing while injured — worsening their injuries.…

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Former NFL Stars Who Opted Out of the NFL Concussion Litigation Rejoin Class

Two former NFL stars, Joe Horn and Chris McAlister, became the latest players to reinstate themselves in the NFL’s uncapped concussion litigation, after initially opting out of the class action. As background, the settlement established a bottomless fund over a 65-year span — with a potential payout of over $1 billion — to compensate a class of over 20,000 former NFL players now suffering from serious degenerative conditions linked to traumatic brain injuries, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Under the settlement, each…

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Researchers Attempt to Block NHL’s Attempt to Discredit Head Trauma Research

On March 1, 2017, Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University CTE researcher, filed an affidavit with the Minnesota federal courts that she fears the NHL is seeking research materials to discredit the center’s research on the brain disease CTE. Dr. McKee’s affidavit comes on the heels of the NHL’s motion to compel the center to produce their materials related to their research on the degenerative brain disease. The center’s research will be used by NHL players in a proposed class action lawsuit against the NHL…

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NHL’s Subpoena Requests Regarding CTE: Valid Production Request or Invasion of Privacy?

Beginning in September, 2015 the National Hockey League issued subpoenas to two doctors at Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (Boston CTE) in order to compel production of the center’s research related to the league’s concussion litigation. In October 2017, the NHL issued another subpoena, seeking information regarding Lazarus Zeidel — who was added as a named plaintiff in the concussion lawsuit against the league after being diagnosed with CTE in a post-mortem analysis of his brain. While the league argued that the request…

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NHL’s Proffered Expert in Concussion Litigation Attacks Dr. Bennet Omalu’s CTE Findings; Omalu Says No Room for Debate

The controversial discourse around high-contact sports and their potential link to permanent brain damage in professional athletes is coming to a head again. This time, it comes after the director of the Center for Neuropathology at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Rudolph J. Castellani, told a federal court that neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu’s medical conclusions regarding the potential link were inaccurate. Dr. Omalu, notoriously known for his research and findings on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition often found…

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