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 with these coverage issues. The primary issue in these cases is whether the NFL’s insurance companies (past and present) owe coverage to the NFL in the lawsuits brought by former and current NFL players over concussion-related injuries.

Both sides are fighting for legal home-field advantage for good reason. The law is friendlier to the NFL in California while the same is true for the insurance companies in NY. (See our previous post on the California decision and the coverage implications here.)  The exposure is considerable for both sides.  The litigation between current and former players and the NFL is quickly growing with about 6,000 plaintiffs and liability reaching upwards of $2.5 billion if not more.

This decision is by no means the end of the road. The California ruling is on appeal and the NFL will no doubt appeal the NY decision as well. In the here and now, the NFL did get a small consolation prize. Judge Oing stayed his decision pending the outcome of the California coverage case and some other actions.

Insurers, NFL Can Fight Concussion Suit Coverage in NY (Law360-Registration Required)

This posting has been prepared for general information and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. Please consult an attorney about specific questions.

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