NFL Tackles Claims by Players Who Opted-Out of Concussion Settlement

The NFL requested on Monday, September 25, 2017 that a Pennsylvania federal court dismiss claims by former players who had opted out of an uncapped settlement agreement with the league. The players who had opted out had filed their second amended complaint in July, alleging that the league purposely concealed the long-term risks associated with head injuries and failed to implement proper safety measures to protect players. The NFL argued the new complaint presents claims dependent upon an interpretation of the terms of numerous health…
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Family of Aaron Hernandez Hits NFL and Patriots with Lawsuit After CTE Diagnosis

On September 21, 2017, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, as guardian of Avielle Hernandez, who is four-years-old and Aaron Hernandez’s daughter, filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the New England Patriots for their negligence that caused Aaron Hernandez to develop a severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The lawsuit seeks damages for the loss of parental consortium, alleging that the NFL’s and the Patriots’ conduct cost Hernandez’s daughter his love and affection. In a civil cover sheet for the suit the damages demanded was $20…
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NFL Players’ Counsel Demand Answers from Attorney in Concussion Suit for Alleged Misrepresentations

On September 12, 2017, class counsel for former NFL players in the concussion suit against the NFL stated that an attorney made communications about the settlement program to class members that may have resulted in them taking action against their self-interest. The suit against the NFL for negligently handling the relationship between Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and repeated head trauma sustained by the former players’ profession resulted in a settlement that was approved in April 2015. The settlement could result in paying out more than…
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Finding a Cure: Researchers in Midst of Developing Potential “Concussion Pills”

According to Dr. William Korinek, CEO of Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals, a so-called “concussion pill” is targeted for a 2025 release into the world. This pill would, in theory, allow for one’s brain to self-heal and repair long-term brain damage, such as damage sustained through football concussions. While Dr. Kun Ping Lu predicts a release date closer to 2027, the fact that it is on the way at all can provide a light on the horizon for those struggling to find any release from chronic traumatic encephalopathy…
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Boston University Wins Fight for Fees

On Monday, July 31, 2017, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson awarded Boston University $96,300 in attorneys’ fees and costs to be paid by the National Hockey League. The dispute stemmed from the NHL’s demand for research and data from about 400 former athletes’ brains studied by BU’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. The University refused the request on the grounds that only six of the brains studied were those of former NHL players, and Judge Nelson honored their request for fees and costs stemming…
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After Review, Ruling Linking Football to CTE Stands

On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, Dr. Ann McKee published the continuation of a study that began eight years ago, where McKee and fellow researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University published study results revealing that 87 of 91 former NFL players had CTE. The most recent update to that study, which was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 177 of 202, or nearly 88 percent, of deceased football players had CTE. Of those brains tested, 110 of…
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Fourth Circuit Says NFL Retirement Plan Wrongfully Denied Request for Higher Benefits

On Friday, June 23, 2017, the Fourth Circuit affirmed a Maryland District Court’s 2016 ruling that the National Football League’s Retirement Plan wrongfully denied a request by former NFL linebacker Jesse Solomon for a higher level of benefits. Solomon sought a higher level of benefits as a result of cognitive impairments he has suffered due to head injuries sustained while playing nine years in the NFL. As a result of the affirmation that the Retirement Plan “abused its discretion” in Solomon’s case, the NFL will…
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NHL Trying to Eject Two Retired Players from Concussion Lawsuit

The National Hockey League is urging the Minnesota federal court to act now to remove two former players from the proposed class action. The NHL wants its bid for summary judgement for claims made by Gary Leeman and Bernie Nicholls to press on. The league argues the three-year statute of limitations bars these two players’ claims, who retired in the late 1990s. Both Leeman and Nicholls serve as class representatives of their respective classes. The NHL argues the move for summary judgement is appropriate now,…
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NHL Fights Boston University Over Attorney Fees

Boston University is requesting more than $119,000 in attorney’s fees accrued during its defense against the National Hockey League’s discovery request for documents and data related to research done by BU’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. The NHL had requested all CTE research done by the University, but only received discovery related to six NHL players. BU claimed there is no reason the NHL would need data about other people, while the NHL argued that it needs all of the research available in order to…
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Deceased Linebacker’s Estate Sues NCAA

The family of former Pittsburg State (KS) linebacker Zack Langston, who committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest at the age of 26, is suing the NCAA over its handling of concussions. The family alleges that Langston suffered more than 100 concussions while playing at Pittsburg State from 2007-2010, and was either not given the appropriate medical treatment or not treated at all by team doctors. The lawsuit claims that the NCAA has known for decades that severe hits to the head can lead…
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