Judge Orders NFL and Former Players to Mediate Concussion Claims

On Monday, July, 8 2013 a Pennsylvania federal judge ordered a mass of National Football League (NFL) concussion cases to mediation. The cases were brought by more than 4,000 former National Football League players accusing the league of negligence and concealing the dangers of concussions. The players say the league has known for years, or even decades about the long-term dangers of concussions. The league responded that it released warnings based on the medical research available at the time.

The NFL filed motions to …

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Michigan Follows National Trend, Passes New Sports Concussion Law

Michigan has become the 39th state to pass a sports concussion law which went into effect on June 30, 2013. The new Michigan law applies to school athletic committees, which include organized practices or competitions and also physical education classes that are part of any academic curriculum.

Pursuant to the new law, before a student athlete may participate in athletic activities sponsored or operated by the school, the school must first insure that coaches, employees and volunteers and other adults who are involved in the …

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For The Third Time, California Courts Rule that the NFL Remains the Away Team

The National Football League (NFL) suffered its third blow from a California appeals court on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. First, the NFL-favored venue of California for the concussion related suits was denied; second, the NFL’s least preferable venue of New York was allowed; and now, California says the NFL will be the visiting team in New York court against 32 insurance companies.

The NFL is looking to pass the bill to insurers for its concussion related lawsuits. The League argued for California jurisdiction …

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Former Hockey Player Derek Boogaard’s Family Sues NHL for Wrongful Death

The family of a National Hockey League (NHL) player who died of an accidental overdose from pain medications and alcohol has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the league in Cook County, Illinois. The family of Derek Boogaard alleges that the NHL is responsible for the brain damage he suffered during his years in the league and for his eventual addiction to prescription pain killers. Boogaard was found dead of an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol on May 13, 2011 at the age …

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Riddell Takes Huge Hit with Multi-Million Dollar Verdict in Colorado Concussion Lawsuit

A jury in Las Animas County, Colorado, returned an $11.5 million verdict against helmet manufacturer Riddell and several school officials in a case involving a teen football player who was injured in 2008.  The Ridolfi family filed a lawsuit after their son Brett suffered a concussion during high school football practice.  Brett wasn’t immediately taken to the hospital, and later suffered permanent brain damage and paralysis on his left side.  The family brought suit against Riddell and others to recover for Brett’s injuries.

The jury …

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Former NFL Players Fighting to Stay in Court in Hearing on Concussion Suit

On April 9, 2013, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody heard oral arguments in the ongoing NFL concussion litigation venued in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  The suit essentially accuses the League of downplaying the risks of concussions and other playing-related head injuries and their effect on later-life cognitive decline.  Multiple pending suits were condensed into a single multi-district litigation earlier last year and now includes over 4,200 former NFL players as plaintiffs. The outcome of today’s hearing could decide whether the lawsuit will continue in …

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Were the NFL & Riddell Out of Bounds for Rejecting Competitor’s Potentially Concussion Reducing Helmet?

Industrial designer Phil Straus began thinking of ways to lessen the impact of football head injuries and concussions in the late 1980s.  After several years of work Straus developed a prototype of the “ProCap” in 1989 by attaching a half-inch-thick urethane mold on top of traditional football helmets.  His work showed signs of promise in lab tests, and later gained acceptance by a number of NFL players who swore that the invention functioned as advertised.  Mark Kelso, former Buffalo Bills free safety, swore by the …

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NFL Goes 0 for 2 Against Insurance Companies in Court

The National Football League is now 0-2. It lost yet another round on the legal gridiron last week when New York State Supreme Court Judge, Jeffrey K. Oing, ruled that the lawsuit between the NFL and its insurance companies could proceed in NY.  This is despite the fact that the NFL filed a similar lawsuit in California first. This echoes a previous ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Shepard Wiley Jr. who held last fall that California was the wrong venue to deal …

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NFL Teams Up with GE to Fund New Concussion Research

On March 11, 2013, the National Football League and the General Electric Co. announced that they are teaming up to create a Head Health Initiative that will provide $60 million dollars to assist leading neurologists in researching traumatic brain injuries and developing technology able to monitor these ailments.  $40 million will go towards developing imaging technologies, and the remaining $20 million will be available to others who seek to prevent, identify, and develop treatments for brain injuries.  Athletic apparel company Under Armour will also be …

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Science of Sports: NFLPA and Harvard to Team Up for Study on Treatment of Football Injuries

Harvard University and the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) are negotiating a deal with the NFL seeking a $100 million grant for the purpose of studying, diagnosing, and treating injuries and ailments suffered by players as a result of their football careers.

Dr. Lee Nadler, the Harvard Medical School Dean for clinical and translational research, attested to the groundbreaking nature of the proposed project, noting “[n]o one has ever studied the players [themselves] before.  There have been postmortem studies looking at the brains of …

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