Update: Garcia-Tatupu v. NFL Player Retirement Plan

On June 8, 2018, the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan and the NFL Player Supplemental Disability Plan (defendants), an ERISA-governed multiemployer pension plan which provides retirement and disability benefits to eligible NFL players and their beneficiaries, asked the First Circuit not to reverse the lower court decision that the NFL’s retirement board properly denied claims made by the ex-wife of a late New England Patriots player, Mosiula F. “Mosi” Tatupu. As we have previously covered, more than four years after his 2010…
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UPDATE: Dismissal of Late NHL Player’s Wrongful Death Suit Affirmed by 7th Circuit

Since May of 2013, the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider has been tracking a wrongful death suit filed on behalf of the late NHL player, Derek Boogaard. The suit may have reached the end of its long road with the Seventh Circuit affirming the dismissal of the case. In the midst of ongoing litigation against the NHL for their conduct relating to the risks of head injuries, the result in the Boogaard case is temporary victory for the league which is seeking to avoid the…
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Retired NHL Veteran Alleging Former Teams Knew of Brain Injuries

After making his NHL debut in 1989, Mike Peluso played nine professional seasons as a bruising left winger for five different NHL franchises. He won the Stanley Cup in 1995 as an enforcer on the New Jersey Devils’ “Crash Line”. After his retirement in 1998, the long-term effects of his role as an enforcer and the resulting brain injuries formed the basis of a workers’ compensation suit against his former teams. The most recent allegations, however, have implications outside of workers’ compensation context…
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NHL Moves to Bar Testimony of Four Expert Witnesses in Concussion Litigation

On February 9, 2018, two proposed classes of NHL players asked U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson not to bar expert testimony of four experts. The players argued that the experts provided necessary information that is pertinent to their lawsuit. The suit began when former NHL players claimed that the NHL failed to inform them of the health risks caused by concussions and head-related trauma even though the league had knowledge of such information. The NHL argued that epidemiologist Dr. R. Dawn Comstock’s opinions…
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Fight over the Mark “Golden Knights”

On January 10, 2018, the Department of the Army filed two notices of opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to oppose the marks “Vegas Golden Knights,” and “Las Vegas Golden Knights.” The marks were filed by Black Knights Sports Entertainment, LLC. Black Knights Sports Entertainment and its majority owner, Bill Foley, are the owners of the recent National Hockey League expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. In August 2017, Black Knights Sports Entertainment, LLC completed the registration application and from the…
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Parents of Late NHL Player Derek Boogaard Request Revival of Wrongful Death Suit

On Monday, September 25, 2017, the parents of the late NHL player Derek Boogaard appealed to the Seventh Circuit, asking the court to revive their wrongful death lawsuit against the NHL. On appeal, the Boogaards claim the district court incorrectly applied Minnesota state law to the case. Derek Boogaard played in the NHL for six years and participated in 66 fights, with one of his final fights causing him a severe concussion. The Boogaards allege in their original suit that their son’s death stemmed from…
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Former NHL Enforcer Michael Peluso Goes After His Old Teams for Millions in Head Injury Suit

Back in April, Michael Peluso, former NHL “enforcer,” filed suit against the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, and the team’s insurance companies for intentionally hiding the dangers he faced from continued head injuries arguing that his claims fall outside of workers’ compensation. He argues that a newly discovered medical report shows that the teams knew of the risks of further head injuries, but kept putting him back on the ice. Peluso specifically alleges that the teams serious breaches of legal duties led to him…
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Boston University Wins Fight for Fees

On Monday, July 31, 2017, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson awarded Boston University $96,300 in attorneys’ fees and costs to be paid by the National Hockey League. The dispute stemmed from the NHL’s demand for research and data from about 400 former athletes’ brains studied by BU’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. The University refused the request on the grounds that only six of the brains studied were those of former NHL players, and Judge Nelson honored their request for fees and costs stemming…
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Dropping The Gloves: NHL Fights Back at Player’s Bid to Exclude Expert Testimony

The NHL has responded to a bid to remove expert testimony the league believes improves their attempt to defeat class certification. The NHL’s response is the latest development in the December bid to certify a class by the league’s former players who claim that the league failed to warn them of the various known risks and diseases associated with repeated head trauma. The players believe the league’s expert testimony is cumulative and will confuse a jury due to its amount of similar and supposedly irrelevant…
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NHL Trying to Eject Two Retired Players from Concussion Lawsuit

The National Hockey League is urging the Minnesota federal court to act now to remove two former players from the proposed class action. The NHL wants its bid for summary judgement for claims made by Gary Leeman and Bernie Nicholls to press on. The league argues the three-year statute of limitations bars these two players’ claims, who retired in the late 1990s. Both Leeman and Nicholls serve as class representatives of their respective classes. The NHL argues the move for summary judgement is appropriate now,…
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