Category Archives: Concussions

Former NHL Players Bringing Concussion Suit Ask Court to Unseal Concussion Class Certification Docs

Several former NHL players brought a concussion suit against the National Hockey League in 2013 based on allegations that they have all experienced long-term neurological issues as a direct result of concussions sustained while playing for the league; a suit precipitated by a settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players over similar allegations. The players claim the league neglected to provide adequate protection and information re concussion dangers and the possible repercussions. One of the players’ experts opined that the average NHL player…

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NFL Retirement Plan Asks Fourth Circuit to Deny Benefits to Player Disabled by Symptoms of CTE

Issues from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) have started to seep into other parts of retired NFL players’ lives. Attorneys for the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan recently asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a Maryland District Court’s order granting retired NFL linebacker Jesse Solomon disability benefits. The District Court ruled in favor for Solomon after finding that the Social Security Administration determined that Solomon had been disabled within a fifteen year window. In order to receive disability coverage, a player…

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Family of Derek Boogaard Asks Federal Judge to Remove Tort Claims to State Court

The parents of former NHL player Derek “Boogeyman” Boogaard are asking a Federal District Court judge to remove their wrongful death claims — against the NHL — to state court. Their request comes on the heels of a ruling striking all claims involving federal law, and, Boogaard’s parents opine, the only allegations left to decide involve state tort law claims. Filed in 2013, the suit focused on the NHL’s failure to protect Boogaard and permitted him to return to action without completing recovery for his…

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Supreme Court Blocks Appeals Over NFL Concussion Settlement

On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will not hear the appeals concerning the concussion-related settlement between the National Football League and more than 20,000 former players. This class-action originated when former NFL players accused the NFL of hiding its true knowledge of the link between football and the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Upon reaching a settlement, however, a group of dissenting retirees argued that it “unfairly favored currently injured retirees and left thousands of…

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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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