NFL Seeks Special Investigator to Query Fraud in Billion Dollar Concussion Settlement

On April 13, 2018, the NFL filed a motion seeking the appointment of a special investigator to more closely examine potentially fraudulent concussion claims that may be “clogging the system” of the $1 billion settlement. Of the 2,000 plus claims submitted to date, about 46 percent indicate the presence of fraud, according to the motion. The NFL maintains that a new investigator will have the appropriate resources to uncover intentional fraud, which the current claims administrator does not have the capacity to do. Specifically, the…
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EA Still on the Hook for NFL Likeness Misuse; Wins on Sanctions Motion in the Meantime

As we have previously reported, Electronic Arts Inc. continues to be under fire for trying to evade responsibility for its alleged unauthorized use of thousands of NFL players’ likenesses in its video games, most notably in Madden NFL. On March 29, 2018, the retired players filed a motion in opposition to EA’s third attempt at summary judgment. According to the retired players’ motion, they represent a proposed class of over 7,500 other retired NFL players who claim to have been similarly aggrieved by EA’s…
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Missouri State Court Sides Against NFL in Move Petition from St. Louis Rams

On April 3, 2018, a Missouri Supreme Court Judge denied the NFL’s motion to dismiss in its lawsuit against the City of St. Louis, County of St. Louis, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (SCA), which operates the St. Louis Rams former stadium. The NFL attempted to argue that the Missouri state court did not have the jurisdictional authority to hear the case where The Rams Football Company, LLC, the NFL, and every NFL owner, 89 separate entities in total, were…
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Packers Fan Suing Bears Over Fan Gear Survives Motion to Dismiss

On March 30, 2018, U.S. District Judge Joan B. Gottschall ruled that Russell Beckman, a longtime Green Bay Packers fan, did not established that he had standing to sue the NFL, but he did meet his burden in his First Amendment claim against the Chicago Bears. As we have previously covered, Beckman, representing himself, sued the NFL and the Chicago Bears after he was not allowed entry to a Bears Season Ticket Holder Experience event at Soldier Field because he was wearing Green…
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Texas Court Allows Clinic’s ERISA Suit Against NFL to Stand

On March 27, 2018, a Texas court partially granted and partially denied a four-time amended complaint in a suit filed by medical clinic, Advanced Physicians SC (AP), against Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Healthcare Management Inc., Connecticut General life Insurance Company, Great-West Healthcare-Cigna, and the NFL Player Insurance Plan. From the lawsuit, AP sought compensation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, ERISA, for unpaid, but allegedly legitimate, claims for previous medical care rendered to retired NFL players and their families. According to…
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Former Chicago Bear Sues NFL for Damages from Concussions

On March 27, 2018, former Chicago Bear Craig Steltz filed a lawsuit against the NFL in Louisiana federal court. In the lawsuit, Steltz requested financial compensation for the chronic injuries, expenses, and intangible losses suffered as a result of the NFL’s “intentional tortious misconduct, including fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and negligence.” Steltz claimed that he suffers from the pathological and debilitating effects of mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI) caused by the repeated concussive and sub-concussive impacts that he experienced while playing in the NFL. Steltz, a…
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Colombia Law School Holds Conference on NFL Concussion Lawsuit’s Uncapped Settlement Fund

On March 2, 2018, at a conference on class action jurisprudence held at Columbia Law School, advocates and opponents discussed U.S. District Judge Anita Brody’s decision to move the NFL concussion class-action litigation toward an uncapped settlement. Judge Brody, a Columbia Law graduate, attended the conference. As previously reported, in April 2015, the NFL entered into a settlement agreement with almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped monetary fund for players who could prove certain neurological diagnoses. The settlement provided a…
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A Class of Former Players and the NFL Jointly Ask Judge to Remove Expert

On February 27, 2018, attorneys representing the NFL and attorneys representing a class of former NFL players jointly asked U.S. District Judge Anita Brody to remove neurologist Dr. Stephan Mayer from the Appeals Advisory Panel (APP). The attorney’s agreed that Dr. Brian Ott and Dr. Mary Quiceno should replace Dr. Mayer “given the demands on the … AAP in the implementation and on-going administration settlement.” As we have previously covered regarding the NFL concussion settlement, Judge Brody approved two groups of medical experts that made…
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NFL Painkiller Lawsuit Appealed to Ninth Circuit

On February 23, 2018, former NFL players filed an appellate brief with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the players argued that their suit against all 32 NFL teams should not have been dismissed on the grounds that it was time-barred. According to the players, they became aware in early 2014 that NFL teams recklessly administered painkillers, which prematurely ended their professional playing careers and contributed to their diminished post-career prospects. According to their brief, the district court’s decision should be vacated…
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NFL to Seek $2 Million from Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones

According to a report, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is preparing to demand $2 million from Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. Apparently, Jones will be forced to pay $2 million because Jones’ fellow NFL franchise owners are upset with the way Jones has acted over the past eight months. Not to mention, Goodell and Jones have a longstanding feud. In 2017, Goodell’s contract as NFL Commissioner was set to expire. When the NFL Compensation Committee began the process of renewing Goodell’s contract, Jones attempted…
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