Former Lions Running Back Latest to Sue NFL Over Concussions

Jahvid Best was a first-round draft pick for the Detroit Lions in 2010.  Only three years later, the team released Best due to health complications the running back suffered as a result of incurring multiple concussions on the playing field.  Best is now the latest NFL alum to join a long list of others in suing the league for intentionally downplaying the long-term risks of concussions and their role in later-life cognitive decline. Best’s suit names the NFL, as well as helmet-manufacturers Riddell and Easton-Bell…
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Delay of Game: Slow Progress on Settlement in NFL Concussion Litigation

By late last year the giant NFL concussion lawsuit – a case where several thousand former NFL players are suing the league for intentionally downplaying the risks of concussions and related head injuries – looked to be drawing to an early end.  Now, one week after U.S. District Judge Anita Brody rejected a motion for preliminary approval of a proposed $765 million settlement to end the ongoing multi-district concussion litigation against the NFL, renewed settlement talks amongst attorneys for the 4,500+ NFL alumni are becoming…
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Family of Deceased High School Football Player Files Suit Against School

Late last fall, sixteen year old Damon W. James staggered to the sidelines and collapsed during a Westfield/Brocton high school football game.  Three days later, Damon died at Women & Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, New York.  It was initially reported that Damon suffered from a traumatic head injury caused by a helmet-to-helmet collision.  However, it is now believed that several football-related head injuries incurred earlier in the season made Damon particularly susceptible to the fatal blow. Damon’s mother and father have filed a notice of…
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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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