NCAA Likely to Face Another Round of Concussion Claims

On September 28, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge John Lee allowed two former Purdue University football players to proceed with most of their putative claims that the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference hid risks of repetitive brain trauma. The former football players, Michael Rose and Timothy Statton, are hoping to lead a class of former student-athletes who sustained head trauma while playing football for Purdue from 1952 to 2010. Their case stems from the “NCAA $75 Million Settlement.” As we have previously reported,…
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UW Chancellor and AAC Commissioner Each Testify at NCAA Antitrust Trial

On September 17, 2018, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Chancellor, Rebecca Blank, and American Athletic Conference (AAC) Commissioner, Michael Aresco, each testified in the NCAA Antitrust trial. As we have previously reported, in this lawsuit a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for various NCAA schools to compete for top college recruits. Pursuant to Chancellor Blank’s testimony, UW is considering dropping its athletic program in the event that the court forces…
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WWE Cleared from All Concussion-Related Lawsuits amid Plaintiff Attorney Sanctions

World Wrestling Entertainment has earned a key legal victory, with the Connecticut District Court ruling to dismiss all concussion-related claims against the entertainment giant. Over the past several years, more than 65 of retired wrestlers have filed against WWE, alleging a lack of protection for the wrestlers’ health that lead to concussions, CTE, and other brain injuries. The former wrestlers further contended that WWE forced them into dangerous performances and covered up the effects of head trauma. U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant…
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NFL Painkiller Class Action Resurrected by 9th Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a class action filed by former NFL players, sending the case back to federal court. The suit claims the NFL encouraged players to abuse painkillers, including opioids. In 2014, the lower court sided with the NFL, holding that the claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL team owners and athletes. Now, however, the 9th Circuit has…
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Notices in the NCAA $75 Million Settlement Finally Complete

On September 12, 2018, attorneys representing the NCAA notified U.S. District Judge John Lee that the direct notice portion in the $75 million dollar NCAA Concussion Litigation case had ended. As we have continued to report, Judge Lee has delayed the final approval of a $75 million settlement several times after he learned that thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes were yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee originally approved the $75 million settlement in July 2016, but delays, largely attributed…
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Retired Chicago Bears Player Sues NFL Over Risk of Brain Injuries

Former Bears player Craig Steltz has brought action against the National Football League, claiming that the organization deliberately abandoned its duty to players’ health in concealing the dangers of head injuries relating to the sport. Steltz claims that under the 2006 and 2011 collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the National Football League Players Association, the NFL assumed a duty to protect the health and safety of the players within the organization, which extended to providing information about the risks to long-term injury. The…
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In Pursuit of Class Certification against EA, Retired NFL Players Cite Bette Midler

The retired NFL players suing Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) are citing an unexpected figure in their continued efforts to gain class certification: singer Bette Midler. The athletes’ action against EA began in 2010, over the company using their likeness in the video games, arguing that, while EA pays the NFL players union when featuring the names and likeness of current players, EA failed to compensate retired players in the same fashion. A federal judge recently ruled against the athletes, refusing to certify their case as…
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Sparks Fly on Day Two of the NCAA Antitrust Trial

On September 5, 2018, a Stanford University professor, Dr. Roger Noll, testified as an economist expert on behalf of the college athletes in the ongoing NCAA antitrust trial. Dr. Noll criticized the NCAA’s amateurism rules, claiming that college basketball and football is not a “fragile enterprise dependent on how much players get paid.” As we have previously reported, in this particular lawsuit, a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for…
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NCAA Antitrust Trial Starts With a Bang

On September 4, 2018, University of San Francisco professor, Daniel Rascher, testified as an economist expert on behalf of the college athletes. In his testimony, Rascher likened the NCAA to an illegal “cartel” because to their habitual practice of limiting how much money college athletes could be paid. As we have previously reported, in this particular lawsuit, a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for various NCAA schools to…
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NCAA Antitrust Bench Trial Set to Begin

On September 4, 2018, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken is set to preside over a bench trail between the NCAA and a group of college athletes who want an injunction placed on NCAA amateurism rules. This lawsuit, brought by a class of college athletes, came in the wake of the O’Bannon decision, where a court held that NCAA rules prohibiting college athlete’s ability to profit from their likenesses were anti-competitive. However, as we have previously reported, the final decision, in O’Bannon, held that…
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