Tag Archives: CTE

Fourth Circuit Says NFL Retirement Plan Wrongfully Denied Request for Higher Benefits

On Friday, June 23, 2017, the Fourth Circuit affirmed a Maryland District Court’s 2016 ruling that the National Football League’s Retirement Plan wrongfully denied a request by former NFL linebacker Jesse Solomon for a higher level of benefits. Solomon sought a higher level of benefits as a result of cognitive impairments he has suffered due to head injuries sustained while playing nine years in the NFL. As a result of the affirmation that the Retirement Plan “abused its discretion” in Solomon’s case, the NFL will…

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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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NHL Fights Boston University Over Attorney Fees

Boston University is requesting more than $119,000 in attorney’s fees accrued during its defense against the National Hockey League’s discovery request for documents and data related to research done by BU’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. The NHL had requested all CTE research done by the University, but only received discovery related to six NHL players. BU claimed there is no reason the NHL would need data about other people, while the NHL argued that it needs all of the research available in order to…

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Deceased Linebacker’s Estate Sues NCAA

The family of former Pittsburg State (KS) linebacker Zack Langston, who committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest at the age of 26, is suing the NCAA over its handling of concussions. The family alleges that Langston suffered more than 100 concussions while playing at Pittsburg State from 2007-2010, and was either not given the appropriate medical treatment or not treated at all by team doctors. The lawsuit claims that the NCAA has known for decades that severe hits to the head can lead…

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Boogaard Wrongful Death Suit Dismissed

On Monday, June 5, 2017, an Illinois federal judge dismissed the remainder of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of former National Hockey League player Derek Boogaard, who died of an alcohol and painkiller-induced overdose on May 13, 2011. A subsequent examination of Boogaard’s brain led to the determination that he was suffering from Stage II chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE., at the time of his death, which researchers attributed to “repeated blows to the head during his hockey career.” The lawsuit against…

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The Not-So Big Easy: Louisiana District Judge Limits AFL Player to Workers’ Compensation for Concussion Injuries

On May 10, 2017, Judge Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana held that Lorenzo Breland, a professional arena football player suffering from alleged concussions, was limited to pursing relief through a workers’ compensation claim. As such, the player was barred from pursuing his intentional tort claims against Arena Football One, LLC (the AFO), which owns both the Arena Football League One, LLC and Louisiana Arena Football, LLC. In originating this lawsuit, Breland asserted that he suffered multiple concussions while playing for the New Orleans…

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Boston University Calls NHL’s Subpoena Unjustified; Seeks Reimbursement of Legal Fees

Boston University has filed a motion in Minnesota federal court asking the court to order the National Hockey League to reimburse the university for $119,704 in attorneys’ fees and costs. The NHL is currently embroiled in a proposed class action suit involving the claims of former players that the NHL failed to warn the players about the risks of head injuries and concussions. One of the potential groups of members includes players diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Boston University is not a party to…

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Former NFL Stars Who Opted Out of the NFL Concussion Litigation Rejoin Class

Two former NFL stars, Joe Horn and Chris McAlister, became the latest players to reinstate themselves in the NFL’s uncapped concussion litigation, after initially opting out of the class action. As background, the settlement established a bottomless fund over a 65-year span — with a potential payout of over $1 billion — to compensate a class of over 20,000 former NFL players now suffering from serious degenerative conditions linked to traumatic brain injuries, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Under the settlement, each…

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Researchers Attempt to Block NHL’s Attempt to Discredit Head Trauma Research

On March 1, 2017, Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University CTE researcher, filed an affidavit with the Minnesota federal courts that she fears the NHL is seeking research materials to discredit the center’s research on the brain disease CTE. Dr. McKee’s affidavit comes on the heels of the NHL’s motion to compel the center to produce their materials related to their research on the degenerative brain disease. The center’s research will be used by NHL players in a proposed class action lawsuit against the NHL…

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NHL’s Proffered Expert in Concussion Litigation Attacks Dr. Bennet Omalu’s CTE Findings; Omalu Says No Room for Debate

The controversial discourse around high-contact sports and their potential link to permanent brain damage in professional athletes is coming to a head again. This time, it comes after the director of the Center for Neuropathology at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Rudolph J. Castellani, told a federal court that neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu’s medical conclusions regarding the potential link were inaccurate. Dr. Omalu, notoriously known for his research and findings on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition often found…

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