Former Football Players Fight Back, Tell Ninth Circuit That NFL Was Directly Involved in Painkiller Lawsuit

In a lawsuit where former NFL players accused the league of doping them with amphetamines and painkillers, the players have responded to the NFL’s effort to end their appeal in the Ninth Circuit. As we reported earlier, former Chicago Bears players Richard Dent and Jim McMahon sued the NFL in 2014, claiming that the league facilitated the use of opioids, anesthetics, and drugs like Toradol without prescriptions, violating the Controlled Substances Act. While their lawsuit was initially dismissed by a district court for being preempted…
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NFL Tells Ninth Circuit to End Painkiller Class Action Lawsuit

The NFL argued to the Ninth Circuit that the lawsuit from former players should be dismissed, as it was individual teams, not the league, that supplied the players with amphetamines and painkillers. In 2014, former Chicago Bears players Richard Dent and Jim McMahon sued the NFL, claiming that teams frequently use opioids, anesthetics, and anti-inflammatory drugs like Toradol. They alleged that such drug use often does not require prescriptions and that the teams do not take into account medical history or potentially fatal interactions with…
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Former NFL Players Time Barred in Painkillers Suit

On February 6, 2019, the Ninth Circuit ruled that a group of former NFL player’s claim against the NFL was time barred. As we previously reported, back in May 201, lead plaintiff, Etopia Evans, widow of the late Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens player Charles “Chuck” Evans, and six other former NFL players sued the NFL claiming that the league illegally dispensed painkillers and pushed athletes to return to the field, ending their careers early. Back in 2008, Chuck Evans died a jail cell,…
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Former NFL Players Face Uphill Battle in Painkillers Appeal

On December 19, 2018, a lawyer representing six former NFL players had difficulties persuading a panel of Ninth Circuit judges to revive a lawsuit claiming that the NFL illegally dispensed painkillers and pushed athletes to return to the field, ending their careers early. The lead plaintiff, Etopia Evans, widow of the late Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens player Charles “Chuck” Evans, filed her federal class action lawsuit back in May 2015. Back in 2008, Chuck Evans died a jail cell, two days after being imprisoned…
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NFL Painkiller Class Action Resurrected by 9th Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a class action filed by former NFL players, sending the case back to federal court. The suit claims the NFL encouraged players to abuse painkillers, including opioids. In 2014, the lower court sided with the NFL, holding that the claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL team owners and athletes. Now, however, the 9th Circuit has…
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NFL Painkiller Lawsuit Appealed to Ninth Circuit

On February 23, 2018, former NFL players filed an appellate brief with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the players argued that their suit against all 32 NFL teams should not have been dismissed on the grounds that it was time-barred. According to the players, they became aware in early 2014 that NFL teams recklessly administered painkillers, which prematurely ended their professional playing careers and contributed to their diminished post-career prospects. According to their brief, the district court’s decision should be vacated…
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NFL Painkiller Lawsuit Dismissed

California Federal District Court Judge William Alsup dismissed in part a class-action lawsuit filed by former NFL players who alleged teams forced players to ingest painkillers in order to keep them on the field regardless of the health risks posed and the potential long-term consequences. The complaint, filed against all 32 teams of the NFL, stated the teams’ main goal was to mask pain and conceal injuries. In July 2016, Judge Alsup refused to dismiss the lawsuit, despite the NFL’s protestations that the claims were…
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NHL Wants to Keep Wrongful Death Suit in the Federal Courts

On January 20, 2017, the NHL opposed sending the wrongful death suit of deceased hockey player Derek Boogaard back to state court. The lawsuit began in 2013, and was initially filed in Cook County, Illinois, but was removed by the NHL to the federal courts shortly after. Boogaard’s family alleges he developed a painkiller addiction and permanent brain damage from injuries sustained as an “enforcer” for the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild. Boogaard died of a painkiller overdose in 2011, and was prescribed…
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NFL Painkiller Case Allowed to Proceed

On Friday, July 1, 2016, a lawsuit brought by former National Football League players against all 32 NFL teams regarding reckless distribution of painkillers was allowed to proceed by Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California. Judge Alsup had denied a similar case in 2014 on grounds of preemption by the collective bargaining agreement, but allowed this case to continue to the discovery phase of litigation because each team is named individually as a defendant as opposed to the NFL as a whole.…
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Pain, But No Gain. NFL Teams Want Latest Painkiller Suit Thrown Out

On Monday, December 21, 2015, all 32 NFL teams responded with a joint motion in support of tossing a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a number of former footballers. The suit sprung out of the wanton distribution of painkillers by medical staff without regards to possible long-term effects on the health of the players, according to the plaintiffs in the case. In their joint motion, the teams’ main argument is that the case should be dismissed because the ex-players’ claims are preempted and time…
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