Concussion Link to Seau Suicide?

Junior Seau committed suicide nearly eight months ago via self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.  Now, reports composed by three independent neurologists have confirmed that Seau – the 20 year NFL veteran linebacker and long-time San Diego Charger – suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or “CTE.”  As described by an ESPN report, this condition is a “progressive disease associated with repeated head trauma.”   CTE has only recently been identified as a potential side effect of playing professional football, a game where players often experience repeated …

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Insurance Companies Score First in Battle For Home-Field Advantage in Case to Decide Forum For Coverage Issues in Concussion Cases

There is something about home-field advantage.  Maybe it’s the hometown fans there to cheer on their team, or maybe it’s the familiarity of the venue.  Whatever it is, almost every team would rather play on their home turf.  And this brings us to one of the bigger disputes associated with the NFL concussion lawsuits.

In August 2012, the NFL and its current and past insurance companies began posturing for their own home-field advantage of sorts to decide coverage issues in the concussion lawsuits brought by …

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Will Trainers Become the NFL’s New MVPs in Concussion Fight?

Liability concerns stemming from the NFL’s massive multi-district concussion litigation have been affecting changes which may permanently alter the way the game of football is played.  Essentially, the main suit pits former players against the League, accusing the NFL of failing to warn them of the long term risks of concussions and their effect on later-life cognitive decline.

Recent changes made by the NFL include alterations to playing surfaces, equipment, and long standing game-play rules.  For example, the League has shortened the kick-off play to …

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NFL Potentially Takes Another Hit in the Concussion Litigation

The latest story in the NFL class action concussion lawsuit spells more potential trouble for the league.  Late last week, news surfaced that the NFL’s retirement board had prior knowledge of the potentially devastating effects caused by long-term head injuries incurred throughout the course of a football career.  In particular, the board’s at-issue report indicated that the league had paid more than $2 million in disability benefits to certain players who had suffered brain injuries, noting that one of those players (ex-Pittsburgh Steeler center Mike …

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UPDATE: Players Respond to NFL’s Motion to Dismiss Concussion Litigation

On October 31, 2012, lawyers representing thousands of former NFL players filed an opposition brief to the NFL’s current motion to dismiss pending in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania, insisting that based on the gravity of the harm incurred, their lawsuit against the League must be allowed to move forward.  The brief rejected the NFL’s contention that the action was essentially a labor dispute that needed to be resolved under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

The Plaintiffs accused the NFL of “orchestrat[ing] a disinformation campaign,” …

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NFL Attempts to Keep Insurance Coverage Dispute in California

The National Football League recently filed a motion to dismiss a  lawsuit filed by Alterra America Insurance Co. in New York State Supreme Court, arguing that the excess insurer did not have the requisite standing to add additional insurers as parties to its New York action, since the NFL is already pursing an action against them inCalifornia.

The current dispute arose out of the massive insurance coverage obligations dispute between the NFL, NFL Properties LLC, and a host of primary and additional insurers, which began …

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Appeals Court Rules the NFL Doesn’t Have to Play Nice with Mean Gene Atkins on Disability Claims

On September 11, 2012, a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Nation Football League would not be required to extend “extra retirement disability benefits” to “Mean” Gene Atkins.  While Atkins could receive “inactive” player disability benefits, the ruling prevents him from eligibility for the more generous “football degenerative” disability benefits that the league affords retirees with football related injuries.  The ruling comes despite Atkins’ insistence that his current ailments are a result of injuries suffered …

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Former High School Football Player Brings Suit for Disabilities Allegedly Caused by Concussions

A former Texas high school football player has filed suit against his former school district (MarbleFallsIndependentSchool District) and football coach (Cord Woerner) in United States District Court.  Blake Alan Ripple’s Complaint alleges that his current disabilities were caused by a lack of concern or proper care shown by the Defendants in supervising and running the school’s football program.

Presently, the 20 year old Ripple claims that his disabilities are so severe that he cannot even enter a rehabilitation program due to non-stop vomiting.  Ripple also …

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NFL Moves to Dismiss Concussion Litigation for Violation of CBA Terms

On August 30, 2012, the NFL and Riddell Inc. filed a motion to dismiss the multi-district concussion litigation against them, arguing that the suit is preempted by the collective bargaining agreements which exist between the league and the players.  The concussion litigation accuses the league of deliberately and fraudulently concealing/ignoring the risk of multiple head concussion incurred during professional football, causing many former players to experience degenerative mental disorders and cognitive decline.

According to separate briefs filed by both parties, the Labor Management Relations Act …

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Concussion Study Suggests Dangers Associated with Certain High School Sports

The American Journal of Sports Medicine recently published a new study on the epidemiology of concussions amongst high school athletes by comparing the rates and patterns of concussions across 20 sports.[1]  After analyzing athlete exposures and injury data collected from a large, nationally disperse selection of U.S. high schools (between 2008 and 2010), the study found that the majority of concussions suffered (47 percent) resulted from participation in football.  The next highest percentage of recorded concussions resulted from girls’ soccer (8.2 percent), followed by …

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