U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Boogaard Opioid Death Lawsuit

On December 3, 2018, the United States Supreme Court refused review of the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of ex-NHL player Derek Boogaard. The lawsuit, had alleged Boogaard suffered a fatal overdose as a direct result of the NHL encouraging violence and concealing information regarding the dangers of head trauma. By way of refresher, Derek Boogaard was known as an “enforcer” on the ice over his six years in the league, fighting 66 times over his 277 regular season career. After passing as…
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Notre Dame Football Player to Proceed with CTE Suit

The Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled that the estate of a former Notre Dame football player may proceed with their fraud and negligence claims, which allege that CTE is a “latent” disease and thus exempt from the typical statute of limitations. The decision is noteworthy because, while negligence claims must usually be filed two years from the injury, “latent” diseases have a modified timeline: the two year time bar begins at the time an individual learned of the injury, not when the injury…
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Former NHL Players Will Not Appeal

Michael Cashman, a Minnesota lawyer representing former NHL players who filed lawsuits against the NHL, said that the former NHL players would not appeal United States District Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s decision. As we have recently covered, Judge Nelson declined to certify a class of thousands of former NHL players who sued the NHL. The player claimed that the league failed to inform them of the health risks caused by concussions and head-related trauma, even though the league had knowledge of such information. Judge…
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Attorney Sanctioned in WWE Concussion Suit

On July 22, 2018, U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant upheld sanctions against attorney Konstantine Kyros. As we have previously covered, Kyros represented former WWE wrestlers, Evan Singleton and Vito LoGrasso, in their concussion suit against WWE. The recommendation for sanctions stemmed from Kyros’ failure to adequately respond to interrogatories amid discovery. Despite being given more than one opportunity to amend his deficient responses; however, he did not. According to the decision, on January 27, 2016, WWE served Singleton and LoGrasso with interrogatories. On…
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Update: Judge Denies Special Investigator in NFL Concussion Settlement

Recently, a judge denied the NFL’s Request to hire a special investigator in the billion-dollar concussion settlement case. According to Judge Anita B. Brody, “[t]he NFL Parties have provided sufficient evidence of possible fraud to warrant serious concern … however, the Claims Administrator and Special Masters have demonstrated that they are capable of ferreting out any claims involving misrepresentations, omissions, or concealment of material fact, and ensuring that those claims are not paid.” As we have previously reported, counsel representing the NFL asked Judge…
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Parents Try To Quash Pop Warner Subpoena

The Sports Law Insider has previously reported on the class-action suit started by parents whose sons played Pop Warner football as children and subsequently were found to suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after their deaths. The original complaint accused Pop Warner of failing to monitor games, practices, rules, equipment, and medical care to minimize long-term risks associated with brain injuries, failing to accurately diagnose brain injuries, and failing to approve the best equipment available. The complaint also accused USA Football of promoting safety programs…
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UPDATE: 7th Circuit Declines to Revisit its Decision in Late NHL Player’s Wrongful Death Suit

On June 25, 2018, a panel of three 7th Circuit judges voted to deny a rehearing in the wrongful death suit filed on behalf of the late NHL player, Derek Boogaard. As we have continued to cover since 2013, the case was originally dismissed largely due to procedural and technical defects, rather than the merits and alleged facts of the case. Boogaard died in 2011 following an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol. He was 28 years old. A posthumous diagnosis revealed that Boogaard…
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Former Players Sue the NHL

On June 21, 2018, former NHL players Dan Carcillo and Nick Boynton filed a lawsuit against the National Hockey League. Carcillo played 429 games in the NHL for the Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, and the Chicago Blackhawks. During those games he was involved in 149 fights and numerous on-ice scuffles. Boynton played 605 games in the NHL for the Boston Bruins, Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Philadelphia Flyers. During those games he was involved…
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Widow of Notre Dame Football Player Hopeful for CTE Suit to Stand

As we have previously covered, the wife of former Notre Dame football player, Steven Schmitz, filed a lawsuit targeting Notre Dame and the NCAA in 2014 on behalf of her late husband. She is seeking to recover for the college and organization’s alleged “reckless disregard” for the safety of college football players, specifically during the time period that Schmitz spent playing for the team in the 1970s, which led to his diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 2012, and his ultimate passing in…
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Judge Scales Back Discovery in NCAA Wrongful Death Suit

On March 1, 2018, a Texas court of appeals filed a writ of mandamus, partially granting and partially denying the NCAA’s appeal of a prior discovery order. The suit was initiated by Debra Ploetz, wife of former University of Texas football player, Greg Ploetz, who played for the team from 1968 to 1972 and who died in 2015 from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The wrongful death suit alleges the late athlete’s CTE condition and subsequent death resulted directly from his years spent playing for…
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