Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Riddell Will Continue, Judge Rules

A Texas federal judge told helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc. that it will not be able to escape a wrongful death lawsuit, denying the company’s motion to dismiss based on the state’s statute of limitations.

DuQuan Myers played high school football in the Dallas area from 2005 through 2009, during which his mother, Letitia Wilbourn, claimed that he suffered 15 concussions and “innumerable subconcussive blows to the head.” Myers took his own life in February 2017, and his mother filed suit against Riddell in March 2019, …

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Legal Ramifications of Antonio Brown’s Helmet Saga

Antonio Brown was one of 32 players using helmets last season that are now banned by the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association. Those players, including New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, were able to use the helmets last season under a grace period but were required to make the change in 2019. Reports surfaced on August 9, 2019 that Brown, who was traded to the Oakland Raiders and then signed a three-year, $50.125 million contract with the team in the offseason, told team officials …

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Former Players Sue Football Helmet Manufacturer Riddell

On October 30, 2018, a putative class action lawsuit was filed by former high school and college football players. The players are suing BRG Sports, Inc., commonly known as Riddell, for its practice of “marketing, promoting, and distributing dangerous and defective football helmets.” The players argued that they sustained permanent brain and neurological injuries due to inadequate padding in the company’s helmets, which they were told would protect them.

According to the complaint, Riddell is the world’s largest football helmet manufacturer. For decades, Riddell …

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Reebok-CCM Settles Royalties Lawsuit

On March 2, 2018, the lawsuit between Reebok-CCM Hockey (CCM) and Hefter Impact Technologies, LLC was dismissed after the two parties reached a confidential settlement. Back in September 2015, Hefter sued CCM alleging that CCM contractually owed royalties on hockey helmets that were derivative of a Hefter design. The recent settlement came before the scheduled April 17, 2018 trial.

Although the case never made it to trail, it did not gone without its fair share of litigation. For example, as we previously covered back in …

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Reebok CCM Contests Sanction Fees from Startup Hockey-Helmet Design Company

In September of 2015, Hefter Impact Technologies LLC filed suit against Reebok-CCM Hockey alleging that Reebok contractually owed royalties on CCM helmets that were derivative of Hefter designs. Hefter is a startup hockey-helmet design company, and it asserts that it has an existing royalty agreement after CCM used Hefter’s outer shell design on a popular hockey helmet. Hefter now alleges that CCM owes it royalties on later helmet models that are also based on its outer shell design. These helmets are so popular that they …

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Helmet to Helmet: The latest in Schutt and Riddell’s IP Row

Football helmet maker Schutt Sports responded strongly to a bid by rival Riddell Inc. to throw away the IP suit—or to at least give Riddell home field advantage and move the claims to Illinois, where Riddell is headquartered. The suit revolves around Riddell’s alleged infringement on three of Schutt’s helmet design patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,938,818, 8,528,118 and 8,813,269. Schutt believes there is no reason to dismiss or move the case from Texas.

Schutt contends that Riddell has positioned itself to have a …

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Did Concussion Lawsuits Deal a Fatal Blow to Helmet Manufacturer’s Deal with the NFL?

Riddell, Inc. was contractually granted the rights to be the official helmet supplier of the NFL in perpetuity in 1989, over 20 years ago.  However, on Thursday, October 24, 2013, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed that the NFL had negotiated to end its business relationship with the helmet manufacturer at the end of the 2013 NFL season.

Riddell initially resisted the NFL’s withdrawal from their contractual relationship, but was ultimately unsuccessful in thwarting the NFL’s designs.  A statement made by Roger Goodell at a youth …

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