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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New Suit by Retirees Alleges NFL was Pushing Pain Pills

Yet another suit was filed against the NFL by former players on Thursday May 21. This time, the retired players are accusing all 32 NFL teams of intentionally providing players will painkillers and pushing the players to use them. This suit repeats some of the allegations in a suit filed in May 2014, which was ultimately dismissed because of the collective bargaining agreement. The new suit names each of the NFL teams as a defendant and 13 retired players as plaintiffs. It is, however, brought…
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NFL Painkiller Plaintiffs Want in On Concussion Settlement Negotiations

On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, the National Football League filed a response opposing the potential intervention of a class of ex-players (who are suing the league on other grounds) into the concussion-lawsuit settlement proceedings. In a separate action, a class of ex-NFL players lead by Super bowl MVP and Chicago Bear Richard Dent are suing the league for encouraging injured players to abuse painkillers to stay on the field.  This class now seeks intervention in the NFL’s concussion litigation settlement negotiations  for fear of the…
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NFL Hurting From New Suit by Former Players Over Painkillers

The NFL’s litigation woes continue.  On May 20, 2014, the league was hit with a lawsuit brought by a group of retired former players claiming that the NFL illegally supplied them with narcotics and other painkillers to mask their injuries and keep them on the playing field, intentionally ignoring the risks these drugs had on the players’ long-term health.  The filing insists that the actions by team doctors and trainers were illegal because team medical personnel never obtained prescriptions, failed to keep drug records, and…
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