Riddell Helmet Safety Suit Moved to Illinois

On November 22, 2017, California federal judge Beth Labson Freeman transferred the putative class action against Riddell and its parent company BRG Sports Inc. to Illinois. Former college football players had brought the suit against Riddell and BRG Sports, alleging that the companies lied about the protection its helmets offered against concussions. The case also alleged that Riddell and BRG Sports used a shaky study to advertise unsafe helmets and failed to upgrade the designs to prevent concussions. Judge Freeman decided the proper venue for…
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Claims Servicer Pushes for Portion of Concussion Settlement Award Despite Alleged Predatory Lending

Case Strategies Group, a claims management service, argued on November 16, 2017 before U.S. District Judge Anita Brody that former NFL players should be allowed to pay third party lenders and claims services providers a portion of their settlement awards from the NFL Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation. Last month, Christopher A. Seeger, co-lead counsel for the class of former players, argued the court should order the claims administrator to withhold portions of awards meant for lenders or claims services providers and block class members…
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Estate of Former UNC Player Sues NCAA and ACC

The estate of former University of North Carolina offensive lineman, Ryan Hoffman, has sued both the ACC and NCAA on claims of negligence, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment in relation to head injuries Hoffman sustained while playing for UNC. The action seeks to establish a class action including former UNC players or their representatives. Hoffman’s suit alleges the ACC and NCAA failed to provide adequate medical attention addressing severe and/or multiple concussions, failed to protect Hoffman and other players from brain trauma leading to…
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Ex-Players Argue NFL Moving the Goalposts on Requirements to Get Settlement Share

Sixteen retired NFL players urged a Pennsylvania federal court on Monday, November 13, 2017, to overturn a claims administrator’s changes to how claims are processed under a settlement agreement for brain injuries. The NFL reached the estimated $1 billion settlement in the concussion suit four years ago, and began accepting claims against the settlement eight months ago. Of the 1,400 players awarded damages from the league as part of the settlement, only 140 have gotten any sort of payout from the NFL. The court…
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Researchers Report Evidence of CTE in a Living Patient for the First Time

Researchers in Chicago report they have detected evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a living patient for the first time by detecting deposits of tau proteins. The degenerative brain disease currently can only be formally diagnosed after an autopsy. The study also confirmed that a “fingerprint” signature of CTE exists. More research is needed to verify the correlation, but it is a groundbreaking first step toward understanding CTE and developing a cure. The case study was published in the journal Neurosurgery this…
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Class Action Concussion Suit Earns a First Down Against Pop Warner Youth Football

Parents in a class action suit gained yardage against Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc, the nation’s largest youth football league. On Friday, October 20th, 2017, California U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez refused to blow the whistle on claims that Pop Warner failed to institute league-wide guidelines and increased the risk of head injury to its players. “Pop Warner Little Scholars argues that the fraud claims fail because head trauma is an inherent risk of tackle football,” the judge wrote, but what the parents…
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NFL Concussion Litigation Faces Fight Over Selling Settlement Proceeds

On October 13, 2017, class counsel in the National Football League concussion litigation asked a Pennsylvania federal judge to rule that an uncapped settlement agreement prohibits players from assigning their payouts to a third party. The motions stem from a hearing in July that addressed concerns that players who would benefit from an uncapped settlement were being improperly solicited by claim assistance providers who may be giving misleading offers. Then, in a September hearing, class counsel warned the judge that many players made deals with…
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Hernandez’s Daughter Adds Helmet Maker in Refiled CTE Suit

On October 16, 2017, Aaron Hernandez’s daughter, Avielle Hernandez, filed suit in Massachusetts state court against the NFL and helmet maker Riddell Inc. for Hernandez’s post-death diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This suit was filed a few days after Avielle’s lawyers withdrew her suit in federal court against the NFL and the New England Patriots. However, the New England Patriots were left out of the Massachusetts state court suit. Avielle’s attorney stated that a separate action involving the Patriots will be filed at a…
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WWE Might Come Out on Top in Wrestling Brain Injury Suits

Back in 2015, more than 50 former wrestlers and performers filed suit against the WEE, alleging that it hid the risk of brain trauma and failed to offer wrestlers necessary medical attention and support. The suit alleged that the former wrestlers suffer from long-term brain damage and the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, the Alzheimer’s-like neurodegenerative disease related to repeated hits to the head. The wrestler’s claimed that the WWE knew about the potential for brain injury, and was not only negligent…
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NFL Tackles Claims by Players Who Opted-Out of Concussion Settlement

The NFL requested on Monday, September 25, 2017 that a Pennsylvania federal court dismiss claims by former players who had opted out of an uncapped settlement agreement with the league. The players who had opted out had filed their second amended complaint in July, alleging that the league purposely concealed the long-term risks associated with head injuries and failed to implement proper safety measures to protect players. The NFL argued the new complaint presents claims dependent upon an interpretation of the terms of numerous health…
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