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 because of a favorable law stating that insurers have a “duty to cover claims of injuries to former players that occurred outside the policy periods.” The California venue would give the NFL significant home-field advantage, since the insurers sued by the NFL for indemnity of concussion related injuries would be covered under the League’s insurance policies.

The NFL argued that because it has three NFL teams in California and is an unincorporated association that legally resides “wherever its member footballs clubs are located,” they are entitled to residency in California.

The court disagreed, stating that since the NFL is headquartered in New York, it is not entitled to residency “simply because some of its members reside” in California. It appears that the NFL will be the away team in the more insurer friendly state of New York.

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