Category Archives: NFL

NFL Potentially Takes Another Hit in the Concussion Litigation

The latest story in the NFL class action concussion lawsuit spells more potential trouble for the league.  Late last week, news surfaced that the NFL’s retirement board had prior knowledge of the potentially devastating effects caused by long-term head injuries incurred throughout the course of a football career.  In particular, the board’s at-issue report indicated that the league had paid more than $2 million in disability benefits to certain players who had suffered brain injuries, noting that one of those players (ex-Pittsburgh Steeler center Mike…

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Injured Texans Punter Kicks Back at Reliant Stadium Owners Over Unsafe Turf

Former Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann sued the owners of Reliant Stadium for negligence over the career-threatening knee injury he sustained last December due to allegedly “unsafe turf.” The grass at Reliant Stadium is laid out in approximately 1,200 8′ x 8′ squares, which creates thousands of seams that threaten players’ safety, one of which resulted in Hartmann’s injury. Grass turf in most other stadiums consist of a single piece, posing little to no threat of unexpectedly snagging a player’s foot.  Hartmann alleges that the…

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GUEST EXPERT ANALYSIS: Why the Lockout Strategy did not work for the NFL and why the NHL is in a Different Position

Looking for a repeat of its successful bargaining strategy of locking out players, the National Football League locked out its 121 part-time referees in June following the expiration of the National Football League Referees Association contract on May 31, 2012.  Three months later, the NFL decreased its demand for concessions and increased its wage proposal in order to end this work stoppage before the replacement referees made another bad call on the field that changed the outcome of another game.  Most people credit the call…

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League Blows Whistle on Replacement Refs, Strikes Deal with Regular Officials

Thanks to the poor performance of their replacements, the NFL’s regular officiating crews have reached an agreement for a new deal in place with the League.  While the deal will not be official until it is ratified by a vote of the officials’ union on Friday in Dallas, a regular crew will take the field for tonight’s game in Baltimore to the relief of players, coaches, and fans alike. A series of blown calls, including the dramatic touchdown/interception fiasco at the end of Monday night’s…

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NFL Attempts to Keep Insurance Coverage Dispute in California

The National Football League recently filed a motion to dismiss a  lawsuit filed by Alterra America Insurance Co. in New York State Supreme Court, arguing that the excess insurer did not have the requisite standing to add additional insurers as parties to its New York action, since the NFL is already pursing an action against them inCalifornia. The current dispute arose out of the massive insurance coverage obligations dispute between the NFL, NFL Properties LLC, and a host of primary and additional insurers, which began…

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Appeals Court Rules the NFL Doesn’t Have to Play Nice with Mean Gene Atkins on Disability Claims

On September 11, 2012, a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Nation Football League would not be required to extend “extra retirement disability benefits” to “Mean” Gene Atkins.  While Atkins could receive “inactive” player disability benefits, the ruling prevents him from eligibility for the more generous “football degenerative” disability benefits that the league affords retirees with football related injuries.  The ruling comes despite Atkins’ insistence that his current ailments are a result of injuries suffered…

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Bounty-Gate Players’ Suspensions Lifted by Arbitration Panel, For Now

The suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players involved in an alleged pay-for-pain bounty program were lifted by a three-member arbitration panel, allowing the players to return to the game – for now.  The arbitration decision allows the players to return to their teams, but it does not permanently void their suspensions. An NFL investigation revealed that Saints coaches and players ran a bounty program from 2009 – 2011 in which players would receive cash payouts for hits that injured opponents.  In…

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Relationship with Failed Financial Advisor Triggers NFLPA Investigation of Drew Rosenhaus

The NFLPA is looking into whether player agent Drew Rosenhaus should have more closely scrutinized his relationship with financial advisor Jeff Rubin.  The investigation seeks to determine whether Rosenhaus breached his fiduciary duty to the players he represented – a duty owed to the players by all agents certified by the NFLPA – by not closely investigating the practices and credibility of Rubin before trusting him with the players’ monetary investments, many of which failed catastrophically. Among other questionable acts, Rubin has drawn widespread scrutiny…

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NFL Moves to Dismiss Concussion Litigation for Violation of CBA Terms

On August 30, 2012, the NFL and Riddell Inc. filed a motion to dismiss the multi-district concussion litigation against them, arguing that the suit is preempted by the collective bargaining agreements which exist between the league and the players.  The concussion litigation accuses the league of deliberately and fraudulently concealing/ignoring the risk of multiple head concussion incurred during professional football, causing many former players to experience degenerative mental disorders and cognitive decline. According to separate briefs filed by both parties, the Labor Management Relations Act…

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Texas Woman puts the Cowboys on the Hot Seat in Suit over Bench Burns

Jennelle Carrillo of Cleburne,Texas has filed a lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys and team owner Jerry Jones after allegedly suffering third-degree burns from sitting on a black marble bench outside Cowboys Stadium while waiting to watch a scrimmage.  The complaint, filed in Tarrant County,Texas, states that Carrillo required hospitalization and skin grafts on her buttocks after spending an unspecified amount of time on the bench in the Texas heat.  Meteorologist Steve Fano of the National Weather Service in Forth Worth noted that the temperature on…

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