Category Archives: Concussions

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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Plaintiffs in Concussion Suit Respond to WWE, Inc. Sanctions Motions

Earlier this month, attorneys for World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) were accused of filing “abusive” sanctions motions against plaintiffs’ attorneys in a class action lawsuit centering on wrestler’s injuries sustained from concussions. The accusations involve a set of interrogatories, signed by plaintiffs’ attorney Konstantine Kyros, where two of the plaintiffs allegedly claimed to have knowledge of fraud by the WWE. Attorneys for the WWE, however, contend that this information directly contradicts previous deposition testimony, where the plaintiffs claimed not to have knowledge of purported WWE…

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Another Headache for the NFL and Riddell

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, helmet maker Riddell Inc. and the NFL were sued by more than 50 former football players and families of deceased players in a new lawsuit in Louisiana Federal Court. The proposed class action alleges that the NFL made “material representations” that several brain conditions such as early-onset dementia, memory loss, and ALS, were not caused by the players’ time in the NFL and the NFL failed to protect its players. The suit further alleges that the NFL was aware of…

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Another Tackle for the NCAA: Ex-MSU Football Player Brings Concussion Lawsuit

The NCAA has been tackling concussion litigation for years, and on Friday, September 30, 2016, an ex-Missouri State University football player brought another concussion lawsuit to add to the NCAA’s defense list. Richard Walker, who played football for MSU from 1976-79, suffered four traumatic brain injuries and about a dozen blackouts during his time as a student athlete. Walker filed this lawsuit in an Indiana federal court, alleging that the defendants, which include the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and the NCAA, knew of and concealed…

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Getting Tossed Around: Second Circuit Dismisses Premature Appeal in WWE Concussion Lawsuit

On September 27, 2016, the Second Circuit dismissed a former WWE wrestler’s appeal, reasoning that the appeal needed to wait until he and the other wrestlers suing the WWE handle their claims in district court. The attempted appeal arose out of a lawsuit against the WWE for allegedly hiding the risks of traumatic brain injuries. Back in May, William Albert Haynes III told the Second Circuit that he had the right to appeal the district court’s dismissal of his claims. Haynes argued that a…

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Scrupulous Scrutinization: GOP Seeks Thorough Review Regarding NFL Grant Controversy

On September 15, 2016, a group of Republicans from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general, imploring that a “thorough and objective review” from the National Institute of Health is needed into whether the integrity of the process for awarding research grants is being upheld. This letter comes after the NFL was accused of attempting to improperly influence the funding of a scientific study on the degenerative brain condition known as CTE.…

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Knockout: NFL Commits $100M to Concussion Initiative

On September 14, 2016, the NFL announced a new initiative that targets the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of head injuries. As a part of this initiative, Roger Goodell explained that the league and its 32 owners will devote $60 million toward developing technology that will help player safety, such as improved helmets. The league will also provide $40 million over the next five years towards funding medical research, primarily dealing with neuroscience, or the ultimate effects of the head injuries. This initiative, labeled as the…

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Escaping the Chokehold: Former WWE Wrestlers Seeking to Withdraw Admission Statements in Brain Injury Lawsuit

On Monday, September 12, 2016, former WWE wrestlers Evan Singleton and Vito Lograsso argued in a Connecticut federal court that their “slightly delayed service” in response to the WWE’s request for admission should not preclude them from withdrawing statements regarding when they first became aware of the risk of concussion injuries. While the wrestlers’ argument is that the WWE withheld vital information with regards to the health dangers of repeated concussions, the WWE’s response is that the suit is time-barred; the WWE insists that the…

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