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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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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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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Judge Dismisses Former NHL Enforcer Michael Peluso’s Lawsuit

On August 24, 2018, Judge Susan Richard Nelson dismissed Mike Peluso’s lawsuit against the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, and the Chubb Group. As we have previously reported, Peluso, a former NFL player who played professionally for nine seasons, sued the Devils, Blues, and their insurance company, the Chubb Group, claiming that they intentionally hide the dangers he faced from continued head injuries. After his retirement in 1998, the long-term effects of his role as an enforcer and the resulting brain injuries formed…
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NFL Concussion Settlement Payouts Far Ahead of Schedule

As we recently reported, the district judge overseeing the NFL’s billion dollar concussion settlement has refused the NFL’s request for a special investigator to uncover potentially fraudulent claimants.  Since then, claims administrators in the settlement process have released a report indicating that over $500 million in claims had been approved for payout as of July 30, 2018, which is 8 years ahead of the 10-year, $400 million projection. Just weeks ago, counsel for the NFL conjectured that the total settlement would reach approximately $1.4…
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Former NHL Players Will Not Appeal

Michael Cashman, a Minnesota lawyer representing former NHL players who filed lawsuits against the NHL, said that the former NHL players would not appeal United States District Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s decision. As we have recently covered, Judge Nelson declined to certify a class of thousands of former NHL players who sued the NHL. The player claimed that the league failed to inform them of the health risks caused by concussions and head-related trauma, even though the league had knowledge of such information. Judge…
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Attorney Sanctioned in WWE Concussion Suit

On July 22, 2018, U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant upheld sanctions against attorney Konstantine Kyros. As we have previously covered, Kyros represented former WWE wrestlers, Evan Singleton and Vito LoGrasso, in their concussion suit against WWE. The recommendation for sanctions stemmed from Kyros’ failure to adequately respond to interrogatories amid discovery. Despite being given more than one opportunity to amend his deficient responses; however, he did not. According to the decision, on January 27, 2016, WWE served Singleton and LoGrasso with interrogatories. On…
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Update: Judge Denies Special Investigator in NFL Concussion Settlement

Recently, a judge denied the NFL’s Request to hire a special investigator in the billion-dollar concussion settlement case. According to Judge Anita B. Brody, “[t]he NFL Parties have provided sufficient evidence of possible fraud to warrant serious concern … however, the Claims Administrator and Special Masters have demonstrated that they are capable of ferreting out any claims involving misrepresentations, omissions, or concealment of material fact, and ensuring that those claims are not paid.” As we have previously reported, counsel representing the NFL asked Judge…
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NHL Players Denied Class Certification

On July 13, 2018, United States District Judge Susan Richard Nelson declined to certify a class of thousands of former NHL players who are suing the NHL. As we have previously reported, several former NHL players sued the NHL claiming 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 players filed for class certification, but Judge Nelson refused to certify the class because the applicable law…
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