Category Archives: NFL

NFL Settles for $765 Million in Concussion-Related Lawsuits

The National Football League has agreed to settle the massive class action litigation brought against it by more than 4,500 former football players who alleged that the league intentionally downplayed the risks of concussion-related head injuries and their long-term effects on cognitive decline. Former United States District Judge Layn Phillips, the court-appointed mediator, announced that the NFL will contribute $765 million to provide medical benefits and injury compensation for retired NFL players. The settlement will also pay for medical and safety research, and cover litigation…

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More Former Players Sue NFL for Concussions

On Tuesday, August 13 eighty-three more National Football League (NFL) players sued the NFL regarding concussions related injuries. According to the Washington Times, Pro Bowl players Clinton Portis and Daunte Culpepper were among the players that filed suit. The complaint alleges that Portis suffers from headaches and is “at a heightened risk of developing further adverse neurological symptoms in the future.” Earlier this year, Portis stated that he suffered a number of concussions while playing.  He couldn’t give an exact number because there were…

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Stemming the California Workers’ Compensation “Gold Rush”: AB 1309

As the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider has detailed in a prior article, California remains a popular site for current or former professional athletes to file workers’ compensation claims with its relaxed rules on the filing of cumulative trauma-type claims.  However, this may be coming to an end shortly. As recently estimated by Gary Toebben, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 4,500 claims have been filed with up to another 5,000 claims pending, resulting in nearly $750 million in…

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Do the NFL and Its Fans Care About Steroids?

In the wake of the notorious Alex Rodriguez/Biogenesis/performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal, fans have been questioning the lack of response from various other sporting organizations. The Biogenesis scandal has implicated more than just MLB players. Indeed, athletes from the NBA, MMA, tennis and NCAA have also been caught up in this scandal. Surprisingly, no players from the NFL have been implicated. Since 2010, the NFL has adhered to its own steroid policies, which appears to be working.  Specifically, the NFL created the National Football League

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Judge Orders NFL and Former Players to Mediate Concussion Claims

On Monday, July, 8 2013 a Pennsylvania federal judge ordered a mass of National Football League (NFL) concussion cases to mediation. The cases were brought by more than 4,000 former National Football League players accusing the league of negligence and concealing the dangers of concussions. The players say the league has known for years, or even decades about the long-term dangers of concussions. The league responded that it released warnings based on the medical research available at the time. The NFL filed motions to…

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Retired NFL Players Struggle To Get Medical Benefits

The physical rigors of an NFL career are familiar to any football fan. However, the unfortunate case of former Cincinnati Bengal Reggie Williams is one that stands out, and is instructive of the difficulties faced by former NFL players in getting post-career medical treatment. During a playing career, all medical care for players is covered under the league’s collective bargaining agreement. And vested players (those with at least three-years experience) are entitled to medical care for five years after the end of their career. However,…

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RGIII’s Trademark Application Faces Its First Test

As the trademark world anxiously awaits the decision of the three-judge panel at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (and which we’ll be covering in great depth in our enhanced Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Trademark section of the blog), regarding whether the Washington Redskins logo is disparaging and thus whether the ’Skins would be forced to relinquish trademark protection over perhaps their most prized asset, Washington’s star player, Robert Griffin III, was in court settling a trademark dispute of his own. Griffin, who is…

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Steelers’ Proposed Seat Expansion Sacked by Judge

On Wednesday, June 19, 2013, a Pennsylvania judge rejected the Pittsburg Steelers’ request to force Heinz Stadium’s owner to pay for part of a proposed seat expansion.  The Steelers contended the Pittsburg-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority (Authority) was required to pay two-thirds of the 3,000 seat, $30 million dollar expansion.  The Steelers filed a partial summary judgment motion to resolve the expansion funding before trial.  The judge dismissed the motion saying that the Steelers failed to prove the requirements necessary by the plain language…

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Louisiana Court Limits Workers’ Compensation Recovery

On May 16, 2013, the Court of Appeal of Louisiana (5th Circuit), held that former National Football League (NFL) player Daniel Campbell was not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits based on his projected NFL salary instead of his pre-season earnings. In June through August of 2009 during pre-season training, Mr. Campbell sustained two separate injuries to his right knee which effectively ended his career as a football player.  Per his contract with the New Orleans Saints, he was to earn $525 per week for…

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Touchdown Jets! Federal Judge Rules New York Football Team Can Use “Ultimate Fan” Phrase

New York Jets LLC recently scored a touchdown when a Louisiana Federal Court ruled that a sports marketing company no longer owned the trademark to “Ultimate Fan.” On May 30th, United States District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo of the Eastern District of Louisiana granted the Jets’ motion for summary judgment against Action Ink Inc. holding that the ‘Ultimate Fan’ trademark was abandoned and Action Ink had no enforceable trademark rights to the phrase. Action Ink sued the Jets in 2012 claiming that it…

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