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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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Move to Dismiss Expert in Negligence and Fraud Claims

On February 7, 2018, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former player, Lazarius Pep Levingston. Levingston sued the team and its Director of Football Operations, Mike Greenburg, for negligence and fraud, alleging that the team concealed the extent of Levingston’s injures in order to give Levingston a smaller settlement. In August 2013, Levingston suffered a neck injury in a pre-season football game. The team informed Levingston that he had a “cervical strain/sprain, thoracic sprain/contusion, and shoulder contusion.” He…
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NFL and NFLPA Move to Stop Former Agent’s Antitrust Claim

On February 5, 2018, the NFL, and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust suit brought by former sports agent James Dickey. As we have previously covered, Dickey accused the NFL and the NFLPA of stifling competition by implementing a rule called the “Three Year Rule” to keep new agents out of the NFL. In order for an agent to represent players the must be certified. To be certified, agents must negotiate at least one NFL team contract every…
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Judge Stays Aaron Hernandez’s Consortium Suit

On January 23, 2018, U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. decided to stay a suit brought by Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, the fiancée of the late New England Patriots tight end Arron Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez committed suicide in prison while awaiting the appeal of his murder conviction. A court can stop, or “stay,” a proceeding or trial temporarily or indefinitely. Judge O’Toole ordered a stay on Ms. Jenkins-Hernandez’s suit in order to await a ruling by a Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The panel is deciding…
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