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Key concussion suit ruling coming next month

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In many respects, the massive NFL concussion lawsuit is forgotten, but hardly gone.  The flow of new claims has gone from a trickle to dust, and the anti-football factions in the media generally have seemed to surrender to the idea that, even if certain aspects of football are inherently unsafe, Americans routinely engage in far more inherently dangerous activities for far less (or no) money.

Players of every age now know the risks of playing football, and football players are still playing football.  Likewise, football fans are still watching football.  The gloom and doom predicted by many has yet to even begin to take root.

But the concussion litigation persists.  Amid the potentially valid injuries sustained by former players are many men who surely view the process as a supplemental severance package, goaded by opportunistic lawyers who easily can make the case for healthy men making claims.  Regardless of motivation, a key ruling that will determine the future — and drive the value — of the claims is coming in little more than a month.

A ruling on the NFL’s motion to dismiss the concussion cases is expected on July 22.  The NFL believes that most of the claims are governed by the labor agreements between the league and the NFLPA.  If the league succeeds, the claims will be sent to the arbitration process, which removes from the equation the possibility of a sympathy-driven verdict that could cripple the owners financially.

If Judge Anita Brody believes that the various labor deals don’t override individual player rights, then the lawsuits will persist, and the NFL should quickly get serious about settling them.

The donut hole for the NFL arises from the periods during which no labor deal was in place, such as after the failed strike in 1987 through 1993.  Still, from a liability standpoint, the biggest potential problems for the NFL arise after the formation of the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee in 1994, since the strongest arguments regarding failure to warn and/or protect players flow from the notion that the MTBI downplayed the risks of head injuries.

Before the litigation gets to the question of whether the league failed to warn or protect players, the preliminary legal skirmishes must be resolved.  If/when the lawsuits survive the first challenge from the league, the next fight will relate to the many claims that apparently were filed after the application of the statute of limitations.

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13 Responses to “Key concussion suit ruling coming next month”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 11:23 PM

    Can I be added as a plaintiff if I uncontrollably had to bang my head against the wall due to watching the Lions over the last decade?

    I wasn’t even issued a helmet for crying out mute!

  2. thetooloftools says: Jun 13, 2013 11:52 PM

    Heck no. The NFL PLAYERS knew ALL ABOUT THIS in the day. I’m sorry. But they are not victims.

  3. justintuckrule says: Jun 14, 2013 12:19 AM

    I hope the players take these spoon fed, entitled , hyocrire billionaire owners to the woodshed. There’s no doubt the nfl withheld this vital information back in the day. Crush this crap league so that real football can rise like a Phoenix from the ashes.

  4. robertb655 says: Jun 14, 2013 12:25 AM

    It’s all BS. They smell blood and they’re going for it. When players with ZERO symptoms are engaged in the lawsuits, they lawsuits themselves have no basis

  5. jshawaii22 says: Jun 14, 2013 1:17 AM

    OK Mike, how do you, if you were a jurist differentiate between potential damages that happened in High School, College, or the Pros? Most players, I would assume, started in 8th or 9th grade… They were hit every time they played.

    Is one hit more dangerous than another or one that happened 20 years before another and less a cause?

    If I was on the Jury that would be the first thing I need to know, as it would be real hard to convince me that a ‘warning sticker’ on a helmet would convince me not to play.

    They all played. They all knew the risks. Just like race car drivers, Jockey’s or Downhill skiers.


  6. hedleykow says: Jun 14, 2013 2:31 AM

    These NFL owners are members of the 1% club who not only use the courts to get their way, but use their money to write the laws in their own favor. It’s nearly impossible to not become perpetually richer when holding those cards. I don’t feel the least bit of sympathy for the owners now, and never will.

  7. mikeknaj says: Jun 14, 2013 3:02 AM

    This is like a pro boxer suing the WBA because he got concussions and had to quit boxing. As if the idea that you might get your head hit if you became a pro boxer is somehow extraordinarily unheard of.

    Football is football. You know the risks when you sign up – and you’re compensated richly for taking those risks. These lawsuits are wrong, and I don’t take kindly to how they threaten the long-term existence of the NFL that I love.

  8. greenmeattruck says: Jun 14, 2013 3:15 AM

    BlahBlahBlah… yeah, they knew they would never be the same after getting their bell rung too many times, and now cuz the ambulance chasers tell them they deserve money for it, they like to play the victims. If their part of the suit, kick ’em out of the HOF and tell them to never, ever contact the NFL in any way shape or form anymore.

  9. floratiotime says: Jun 14, 2013 8:43 AM

    Who would have guessed that superbly conditioned athletes running full tilt into one another could cause concussions? I know I was totally surprised to hear it.

  10. selgaeinla says: Jun 14, 2013 10:08 AM

    Its fantastic that the equipment companies have developed helmets which protect against concussions, to bad the players won’t wear them because they don’t look as cool as the other helmets.

  11. justintuckrule says: Jun 14, 2013 10:18 AM

    If I was on the Jury that would be the first thing I need to know, as it would be real hard to convince me that a ‘warning sticker’ on a helmet would convince me not to play.
    @jahawaii- either you got greedy or you don’t understand the issue. This is where your argument collapses on itself. The nfl knew more
    About the dangerous risks of head contact yet only put a simple warning sticker on the helmet. If they wrote on that sticker that concussions may cause you to kill yourself before age 50, the players would have been able to make an informed decision. This non disclosure is actionable

  12. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 14, 2013 10:40 AM

    justintuckrule says:

    I hope the players take these spoon fed, entitled , hyocrire billionaire owners to the woodshed. There’s no doubt the nfl withheld this vital information back in the day. Crush this crap league so that real football can rise like a Phoenix from the ashes.

    On the one hand I loathe most of the owners.

    But on the other hand, how exactly do you see “real football”, by which I assume you mean a game which allows hard defensive hitting, come out of a lost lawsuit ?

    I would think if the NFL gets hammered it will make defensive hitting even more limited. If the NFL were to actually fail and a new league rise to take its place, what makes you think the attorneys for any new league would allow anything more than the NFL did at the time of failing?

    Sadly attorneys have taken over our society and they have zero interest in personal accountability. The best thing for attorneys is everyone is a helpless babe who doesn’t understand any risk in anything so they can sue to their hearts delights over anything.

    Stub your toe ? Must be the fault of the store you were walking in at the time. That has to be worth a couple mil right ?

    These players knew the risks. They were ecstatic to be pro football players. What they didn’t do was manage their money properly and they see this as a last shot at buckets of money.

  13. justintuckrule says: Jun 14, 2013 10:59 AM

    @harrisonhits- a new league will properly warn the players and obtain their full informed consent. With that, hitting can resume. As for your lawyer comment, blame your legislature. They can easily legislate away such lawsuits. Lawyers take an oath to represent their clients within the bounds of existing law. Don’t your people say,”guns don’t kill people, people kill people”?

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