Canadian Football League Concussion Suit Decision Reserved

As concussions continue to be a hot-button topic in the world of sports (as has been written on several times in Sports and Entertainment Insider), the Canadian Football League (“CFL”) awaits decision in the CFL’s iteration of this ongoing battle. Arland Bruce, a former wide receiver and veteran of five different CFL teams filed suit in 2014 which is believed to be the first of its kind brought in the CFL.  The lawsuit maintained that in September 2012 he sustained a concussion but was inappropriately…
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Recent Poll: Half of Americans Don’t Want Their Son to Play Football

Despite football’s popularity as a spectator sport, according to a recent Bloomberg Poll, half of American’s don’t want their son’s playing the game.  Those statistics are even gloomier among the educated; sixty-two percent of college-educated survey respondents said they wouldn’t want their son to play. Many suggest this decline is attributable to the attention on the negative health impacts of the sport.  Concussions have been a large stumbling block for the NFL.  A vast number of former players have alleged they suffer long-term effects…
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Concussion Class Action Suit Filed Against the NCAA by Former Texas Football Player

On Monday, October 27, a former Texas Longhorn football player filed a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA for failing to warn and protect student-athletes regarding the long-term effects of concussions and impacts to the head sustained during football games. The lead plaintiff, Julius Whittier, was an offensive lineman for the Longhorns from 1969-72.  Whittier allegedly sustained several severe hits to the head throughout his career there.  The former player, now 64 years old, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in August of 2012.  He…
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NHL in Fight with Insurer over Concussion Lawsuits

The National Hockey League is currently being sued in two separate lawsuits by former players who allege that the league concealed the long-term effects of concussions and failed to adequately warn them of the same.  On April 17, the NHL was sued again – this time by one of its insurers (TIG Insurance Co., a New Hampshire-based unit of Fairfax Financial Holdings, Ltd.), a company that hopes to limit or avoid its duty to defend the league in the existing cases and the new suits…
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NHL Faces Off with a New Concussion Suit

This week the NHL was hit with another concussion-based lawsuit brought against it by nine former hockey players.  The 109-page court filing accuses the league of negligence for failing to properly warn and protect players from the risks involved with repeated head trauma.  In pertinent part the complaint reads, “[D]espite the fact that the NHL’s violent game design induces head trauma, including concussions, the NHL has failed and continues to fail to warn its players of the risks to their lives and the devastating and…
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FTC Will Continue to Monitor Sports Equipment Concussion Protection Claims

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) testified before Congress about its efforts to ensure the accuracy of concussion protection claims made in connection with sporting equipment.  Richard Cleland, Assistant Director for Advertising Practices in FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, testified before a Congressional Subcommittee and outlined efforts the agency has taken. As concussion awareness has grown, manufacturers have increasingly been making claims about the concussion protection ability of their products.  “Given the dangers that concussions pose for young athletes engaged in sports, it is…
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Stanford Runner Becomes First Active Division-1 Athlete to Sue NCAA Over Concussions . . . Then Backs Out Of Suit!

Jessica Tonn, a senior cross-country and track and field runner at Stanford University, became the first active D-I athlete to sue the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) over concussions when she filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in federal court on March 5.  In an abrupt twist, her involvement in that litigation lasted two days when she decided that she no longer wished to be a plaintiff in the class action. Tonn’s involvement as an active student would have certainly made history, especially given that…
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The Real Story behind the NFL Players’ Association “$100 Million Research Grant” to Harvard Medical School

The NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA) recently announced that it would provide a $100 million grant to Harvard Medical School to fund research aimed at improving the health and safety of NFL players.  Now, an “Outside the Lines” report has revealed that the NFLPA never intended to pay the entire grant amount.  Instead, the NFLPA’s public announcement – conveniently timed on the night before the Super Bowl for maximum press coverage – appears to have been a PR stunt aimed at pressuring the NFL into fronting…
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Former Portland Timbers Soccer Player Files Concussion Lawsuit Against Team

Former Portland Timbers soccer player Eddie Johnson’s lawsuit is the latest development in the ever-evolving arena of concussion lawsuits by amateur and professional athletes.  This is the second concussion suit brought by a player against an MLS club; Bryan Namoff sued DC United in 2012 and that litigation is ongoing. Johnson filed his Complaint in Oregon state court against the team and its medical staff, alleging that his career ended prematurely because they negligently allowed him to play while he was still suffering from concussion-related…
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Junior Seau’s Family Displeased with Proposed Settlement in NFL Concussion Case

Fighting recently broke out amongst plaintiff’s attorneys attempting to settle the massive multi-district concussion litigation against the NFL after the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, nixed a $760 million dollar settlement deal proposal.  Judge Brody’s concerns were that the lump sum would be inadequate to fund what could potentially involve 20,000 claims by a variety of NFL alumni over a period of 65 years.  Now, the family of the deceased NFL star Junior Seau is voicing their own objections to the proposed deal.…
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