Category Archives: Concussions

NHL Commissioner Bettman Argues There’s No Evidence Supporting Link Between Hockey and Brain Trauma

On July 25, 2016, a letter by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was filed in the multi-district litigation over concussions in hockey dismissing the link between hockey related head injuries and long-term brain conditions. In this letter, he reiterated a similar infamous stance previously made by the NFL that there is no definitive connection between the two and their league has done everything in their power to keep its players safe. Recently, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), a ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection…

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Connecticut Federal Court Reaffirms ‘Smack Down’ of Concussion Suit Against the WWE

On July 21, 2016 Connecticut Federal Judge Vanessa L. Bryant handed down a partial win for the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. in the concussion lawsuit against them. Specifically, the judge denied the ex-wrestlers motion to reconsider the previously dismissed complaints that the WWE fraudulently handled the risk of concussions with their athletes. This case stemmed from a consolidated class action by many former wrestlers alleging fraud by omission when the WWE knew of the risk of concussions and failed to do anything about it. Particularly,…

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Widow Claims Riddell to Blame for “Horrific” Suicide

Chelsea Oliver, the widow of Paul Oliver, gained a big win in the federal court system on July 19, 2016. A federal judge remanded Chelsea Oliver’s case against Riddell Incorporated back to the state courts. Riddell removed the case from state court in May, claiming it fell under the Labor Management Relations Act. The federal judge rejected this argument and sent it back to the Circuit Court of Cook County. This case stems from the death of Chelsea Oliver’s husband, Paul Oliver, who committed…

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Roundhouse Kick: WWE Slammed with Lawsuit over Head Trauma Injuries

Dozens of former World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) wrestlers have locked the WWE and its chairman, Vince McMahon, in a legal chokehold, alleging that the WWE failed to protect the wrestlers from the risks of repetitive head injury. On Monday, July 18, 2016, over fifty (50) wrestlers joined in filing a class action lawsuit with the federal court in New Haven, Connecticut. The WWE is the latest professional sports organization to face head trauma litigation, joining the NFL and NHL The complaint alleges that the…

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Federal Judge Pre-Approves NCAA Concussion Settlement

On Thursday, July 14, 2016, an Illinois federal judge granted preliminary approval of a $75 million settlement for concussion-related personal injury claims brought by a class of student-athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee said he expects the settlement to be finalized next year after further resolution of issues between the two parties. Seventy million of the settlement will be used to fund a 50-year medical monitoring program to screen student-athletes for head injuries. The remaining $5 million…

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Senator Presses NHL Commissioner for Answers on Concussions

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D – Connecticut) is pressing the National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman to come clean with answers regarding the NHL’s stance on concussions. Specifically, Senator Blumenthal chided Bettman over comments which he believed to be “dismissive” about the link between head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the brain disease which made headlines during the National Football League concussion litigation in recent years. While the NFL has admitted to a link between CTE and playing football, Bettman has made no such…

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Riddell Attempts to Tackle NFL Discovery in False Advertising Case

In a letter to the court dated June 23, 2016, helmet producer Riddell told a New Jersey federal court that consumers claiming their helmets were falsely advertised do not need to pursue discovery against the NFL and its former concussion specialist. Riddell suggests that the subpoena is unnecessary at this time for their class certification bid. The case dates back to 2014, when the plaintiffs alleged that Riddell knew their helmets were compromised. As a result of the study, Riddell marketed that their helmets…

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Illegal Procedure: Riddell Cannot Juke Around Football Helmet Suit

A West Virginia U.S. District Judge, John T. Copenhaver Jr., said that Riddell Inc. cannot escape the youth football helmet suit filed against the company. On Friday, June 17, 2016, Judge Copenhaver found that the proposed class action, brought by a youth football league, contains claims that are plausible. Midwestern Midget Football Club Inc.’s filed suit against the helmet maker in 2015. The suit alleges that the helmet company overcharged consumers for football helmets, justifying the premium cost with the results of a statistically inaccurate…

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Another Concussion Related Headache for NCAA and SEC

Yet another former football player has been added to the long list of former students suing the NCAA for its alleged negligent treatment of concussions. On June 8, 2016, Orenthal James Owens, a defensive back for the Tennessee Volunteers (2000-2003), filed an action in Indiana federal court claiming that the NCAA and SEC exposed him to the debilitating effects of concussions by turning a blind eye. During his time with the Volunteers, Owens remembers blacking out and suffering from memory loss following repeated blows…

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Third Circuit Denies Rehearing NFL Concussion Settlement, Compensation Forthcoming

On Wednesday, June 1, 2016, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition to rehear an objection to the NFL’s concussion settlement. Former players still unsatisfied with the settlement plan asked for the full Third Circuit to review the court’s April unanimous decision to affirm the lower court’s ruling. The uncapped settlement, settling about 5,000 NFL concussion-related lawsuits, provides up to $5 million to individual players suffering from severe neurological diseases. As the settlement covers over 20,000 retired players, the agreement could cost…

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