Category Archives: Litigation

Retired NFL Player’s Suit Against Madden Games Maker Continues

On December 11, 2017, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg refused Electronic Arts Inc.’s (EA) request to be dismissed from a retired NFL player’s putative class action. The suit alleged that EA improperly used the retired players’ likenesses in Madden video games. The putative class action was filed in 2010 and claimed EA violated their publicity rights by including their likenesses in Madden games without obtaining permission from 2001 to 2009. Although the retired players’ names do not appear in the game, the players claim their…

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Ruling on Field Stands for Changes to Claims Process in NFL Concussion Settlement

A Pennsylvania federal judge upheld the approval of a claims administrator’s changes in the way a multidistrict NFL concussion settlement was implemented. The 16 retired players who filed the motion for reconsideration argued that the court should review its Nov. 2 decision that they cannot interfere with the claims process. The former players again argued the requirements for qualifying for a monetary reward were altered from the original settlement agreement. The court denied the motion Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 without a memorandum. The retired players…

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Should Hernandez CTE Case Remain Separate from Class-Action Concussion Litigation?

Lawyers for the estate of late NFL star Aaron Hernandez are trying to prevent a $20 million lawsuit, filed on behalf of Hernandez’ five-year-old daughter against the National Football League, from being merged with a wider class-action suit addressing former players’ concussions. The defendants, including the NFL and helmet manufacturer Riddell, asked U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole in November to temporarily stay proceedings in the case until the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) rules whether the action should be added to the…

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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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Former Agent Counters NFL, NFLPA with Antitrust Suit After Decertification

On November 21, 2017, former NFL agent and lawyer James Dickey accused the NFL, the NFL Management Council, and the NFL Players Association of stifling competition by implementing a rule in 2002 to keep new agents out of the industry. The rule, which Dickey refers to as an unreasonable artificial barrier and which is enforced by the NFLPA, requires agents to negotiate at least one NFL team deal for every three year period in order to stay certified to represent NFL players. “The so-called three-year…

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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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Hernandez’s Daughter Fights Back to Keep Suit in State Court

On November 20, 2017, counsel for Aaron Hernandez’s daughter, Avielle, opposed the NFL’s bid to pause her lawsuit as well as the NFL’s removal of the case into federal court. The lawsuit blames Hernandez’s violent behavior, as he committed suicide in prison while waiting for his appeal of his murder conviction, on his after-death diagnosis of stage three chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Specifically, the suit alleged that the NFL and helmet maker Riddell, Inc. concealed information that linked football to CTE and mild traumatic brain…

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NFL Requests Hernandez Suit to be Paused

On November 15, 2017, the NFL moved a Massachusetts federal court to stay the proceedings of the lawsuit filed by Aaron Hernandez’s daughter for his late-stage chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) until a decision is made about transferring the case to multidistrict litigation. After Hernandez committed suicide in prison, it was found that he had stage three CTE at the age of 27, which is most commonly seen in men in their 60s. Hernandez’s daughter claimed the NFL knew about CTE since the 1960s but did…

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Ex-Softball Coach Sues FDU; Alleges Termination Based on Bisexuality

On November 7, 2016, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s (FDU) former softball coach, Katherine Kelley, sued the university in New Jersey state court for alleged discrimination against her for being bisexual, and that she was fired for speaking out against bullies on the team. Kelley is seeking compensatory damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress for the university’s actions against her, and alleged FDU violated New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act and Law Against Discrimination, as well as breached her employment contract. Kelley also claimed FDU did…

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