Yet another concussion lawsuit has been filed, per the Courier-Post. And while this one has only a trio of named plaintiffs — former Eagles living in New Jersey — the 59-page class action filed also on behalf of all former players living in New Jersey makes specific reference to Week One of the 2010 season, when a pair of former Eagles suffered concussions and returned to play.
Quarterback Kevin Kolb and linebacker Stewart Bradley both made it back into a game against the Packers despite being concussions. And while the new lawsuit from Michael Haddix, 50, Greg Brown, 55, and Lawrence Watkins, 56, doesn’t purport to sue on behalf of Kolb or Bradley or any other current player, it’s hard not to wonder when a current player will roll the dice and join the concussion lawsuit parade, or when a former player will pursue a class action on behalf of men who are still playing the game.
Lawyers who have filed these lawsuits have avoided attempting to sue on behalf of current players, presumably because it will be much easier for the NFL to defeat any such claim by arguing that the grievance procedures of the Collective Bargaining Agreement provide the only avenue for relief. But the NFL has that same argument as to every former player who has sued; it’s odd that not a single lawyer who has filed one of these many cases hasn’t at least tried to tap in to the 1,700-plus men who still play the game.
Of course, suing on behalf of current players also would highlight the decision not to sue the NFLPA, a strategic omission that every lawyer who has filed these lawsuits has made, for a variety of reasons previously explained.
Still, it’s hard not to think it’s only a matter of time before the concussion lawsuit trend crosses over to current players. With the NFL and NFLPA currently getting along slightly worse than feral cats and junkyard dogs, it’s hard not to think that the NFLPA isn’t at least pondering possibilities for quietly cajoling such an attack — or even coming up with a way around the CBA to launch a legal challenge of its own.