Category Archives: Litigation

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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Student Athletes: Don’t Quit Your Day Job

On December 5, 2016, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case brought by former student athletes of the track and field team at the University of Pennsylvania, against the University, the NCAA and several other Division I universities. The former student athletes claimed that during their time in college athletics they were employees of the defendants and therefore entitled to a minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The district court held that the student athletes, who formerly attended…

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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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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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Plaintiffs Strike Out in Suit Seeking to Extend MLB Stadium Safety Netting

Plaintiffs’ hopes of extending the foul ball safety net further down the first- and third-base lines at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums were dashed recently when a California U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing. The plaintiffs’, Oakland Athletics fan Gail Payne and Los Angeles Dodgers fan Stephanie Smith, claim that the extension of the safety net was required to protect fans from injuries caused by foul balls and broken bats, but U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found the…

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All-American High School Lacrosse Player Brings Lawsuit Against Performance Sports Group LTD for Head Injuries

Melinda Avery, an all-American High School lacrosse player, filed a lawsuit against Performance Sports Group LTD, after sustaining head injuries as a result of a defectively designed lacrosse helmet. Avery, the star goalie of her high school lacrosse team, was struck in the head by a lacrosse ball in April, 2014, while wearing a “Cascade Model R helmet.” In her complaint, Avery argues that the helmet failed to meet the minimum safety guidelines imposed by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment…

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Lead Block: NFL Teams Rally to Pre-empt Jerry Jones and Jim Irsay Deposition Testimony

All 23 National Football League (NFL) teams are rallying behind two of their most notorious owners: Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. In a letter written to U.S. District Judge William Alsup, the teams asked that Jones and Irsay be excused from giving deposition testimony in a case involving alleged wide-scale painkiller abuse. Specifically, the teams want a protective order imposed that would “at least [defer]” the two owners from giving deposition testimony. The teams are…

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Blind Hockey Player Fighting to Keep Major Judgment Intact

A blind minor league hockey player—after being poked in the eye with a hockey stick—is now fighting to prevent a federal judge from reopening his case. Kyler Moje was injured in February 2012 while playing for the Danville Dashers, when the stick of another player got under his visor and struck his eye, blinding him. Moje never regained the ability to see and instituted the action against the Federal Hockey League LLC (FHL). After failing to respond to Moje’s lawsuit, a federal court in Illinois…

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No Extra Innings: Cubs, MLB Reach Settlement With Apparel Vendors

On November 9, 2016, Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs reached a settlement with the 84 vendors accused of selling counterfeit MLB merchandise. In the motion, the Cubs declared that it had entered into a confidential settlement with the vendors and requested that the court issue a permanent injunction, preventing them from selling the merchandise in the future. Due to the great success the Cubs experienced this season, a large number of fake apparel vendors began selling products with symbols resembling MLB marks, leading

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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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