NFL Concussion Multijurisdictional Litigation is Turning into a Headache

In 2014, former Arizona Cardinals NFL players sued their team for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, and loss of consortium. In their complaint, the former NFL players stated that the Arizona Cardinals, as an employer, owed them duties to maintain a safe working environment, not to expose them to unreasonable risks of harm, and to warn them about the existence of concealed dangers. Their argument alleged that while they were unaware of the risks associated with football-related concussions, the Arizona Cardinals knew, or should have known, that such brain trauma could result in serious and long-term effects.

On April 8, 2016, a judicial panel transferred the suit to join the similar, ever-growing NFL concussion litigation case in Pennsylvania Federal Court. The panel’s order of transfer was based upon a record, at which “material evidence [was] offered by [the parties] to the action.”

The NFL concussion litigation lawsuit, which the former Arizona Cardinals’ lawsuit joins, broke off of the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement in 2014. In the 2014 settlement, the Court approved one billion dollars to be paid to former NFL players. While the award seems sufficient, it only provided relief for CTE victims who died between 2006 and 2014. In an effort to suit the NFL individually, several critics opted to bring the current NFL concussion litigation lawsuit.

Even though this issue has received numerous press and media attention lately, the first concussion story dates back to 1994, when former Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback, Troy Aikman was hospitalized after receiving a blow to the head. Since then, extensive research and investigation has been done to examine the effects of football-related brain trauma.

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