Out of Time: Ex-NFL Players’ Suit Against Riddell Time Barred

In July 2016, a group of former NFL players filed a lawsuit against the sports equipment manufacturer, Riddell, Inc., in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. However, on October 21, 2019, Illinois’s First District Appellate Court ruled that the players’ suit is time barred by the “two-year statute of limitations governing personal injury actions in Illinois.” In their complaint, the players alleged Riddell “failed to warn” that their “plastic helmets could not protect” the players against concussions or long-term neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, the…
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Federal Judge Dismisses Two Ex-NHL Players’ Concussion Lawsuits

A Minnesota federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the NHL by two former players, finding that the court lacks jurisdiction over the suit. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson dismissed two lawsuits, filed by Andre Deveaux and Todd Harvey, without prejudice. Judge Nelson reasoned that the players lacked a connection to Minnesota for jurisdiction. Deveaux and Harvey never played for a Minnesota hockey team, nor did they present enough evidence linking them to the state. As we previously reported, Judge Nelson oversaw a…
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Litigation Funding Companies Claim Judge Improperly Assumed Jurisdiction in Concussion Settlement Case

On January 23, 2019, three litigation-funding companies, RD Legal Funding LLC, Atlas Legal Funding LLC, and Thrivest Specialty Funding LLC told a three-judge panel that U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, the judge who oversaw the NFL concussion case settlement, improperly assumed jurisdiction over third party funding contracts between the companies and the former players. The litigation funding companies argued that Judge Brody lacked jurisdiction to bar the litigation funding companies from recovering their stake in the settlement. As we have previously reported, in…
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A Class of Former Players and the NFL Jointly Ask Judge to Remove Expert

On February 27, 2018, attorneys representing the NFL and attorneys representing a class of former NFL players jointly asked U.S. District Judge Anita Brody to remove neurologist Dr. Stephan Mayer from the Appeals Advisory Panel (APP). The attorney’s agreed that Dr. Brian Ott and Dr. Mary Quiceno should replace Dr. Mayer “given the demands on the … AAP in the implementation and on-going administration settlement.” As we have previously covered regarding the NFL concussion settlement, Judge Brody approved two groups of medical experts that made…
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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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Investigation into Deceptive Practices Around NFL Concussion Settlement Continues

Judge Anita Brody, who is overseeing a large NFL concussion settlement, told lawyers on Wednesday that they could look into whether companies are duping a few hundred former NFL players into signing contracts for unneeded services. Judge Brody had already sent out a notice in July to eligible players telling them she would hold a hearing concerning these deceptive practices in September, and, at the hearing on Tuesday, repeatedly asked plaintiffs’ lawyers how she could help. Judge Brody could potentially void any agreements found to…
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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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Former NFL Players Hit Back as Over Eighty-Eight Percent Have Entered Settlement

The NFL and its former players agreed that August 7, 2017 was the final day for players to register for the NFL concussion settlement program in order to receive benefits for head trauma experienced during their careers that have or could result in brain injuries. Current NFL players and those who retired on or after July 7, 2014 are not a part of the registration process. Adam Selter, a lawyer who has been retained by approximately two hundred former NFL players, stated “[t]he settlement is…
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There’s a Doctor in the House: Two Groups of Medical Experts Approved by District Judge in NFL Concussion Settlement

On May 4, 2017, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody approved two groups of medical experts in the NFL concussion settlement. These experts will lead the testing and diagnosing of players in the class to determine whether each member has a neurological condition which will qualify them for recovery under the terms of the settlement. A list comprised of these experts was submitted last month. Per the Approval signed by Judge Brody, the two panels of experts for this Settlement Program are the Appeals Advisory Panel…
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NFL’s Influence on Concussion Research Cannot be Overlooked, OTL Reports

In a recent Outside The Lines article posted earlier this month on ESPN.com, it was reported that the National Football League — under fire these days for its role in downplaying concussions and head trauma in professional sports — may be exerting inappropriate influence on scientific studies on concussions. The OTL article posits that this is not a new development either. According to the piece, the NFL has had its hand in funding scientific studies regarding concussions and their long-term effects since the mid-1990s. However,…
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