Dismissal of Jahvid Best’s lawsuit doesn’t mean much

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The headline at ESPN.com proclaims that the lawsuit filed by former Lions running back Jahvid Best against the NFL and helmet manufacturer Riddell has been dismissed.  Which suggests that the case has ended.

The reality is that the case never got going.  As explained by Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com, the case was dismissed “without prejudice” due to failure to serve the lawsuit on the defendants.  The term “without prejudice” means he can file it again.

But since the goal of the lawsuit was to secure protection for Best against future medical conditions he may experience, Best doesn’t need to do anything, if the pending concussion settlement ultimately is approved and finalized.  As a retired player, he’ll be entitled to share in the $675 million settlement fund, if/when he can prove that he suffers from a severe cognitive impairment.

One of the potential problems with the proposed settlement comes from the fact that benefits are available only to former players with severe impairments.  Men with moderate impairments get nothing.

Without knowing more about Best’s health, it’s impossible to know whether he will be eligible for payments under the proposed settlement, or whether he’d have to pursue his own claim due to an impairment that is less than severe.  Still, since he entered the NFL after the league developed an unprecedented sensitivity to head injuries and after the risks were fully known, it will be hard for him to prove the the NFL is liable, if he re-files his lawsuit and serves it.

9 responses to “Dismissal of Jahvid Best’s lawsuit doesn’t mean much

  1. Jahvid can say the pertinent details of serving documents to the defendant in the lawsuit slipped his mind. Loss of ability to focus on task, due to accumulated concussion syndrome. He’s buttressing his case as we speak.

  2. A case like Best’s shows the issue with the concussion lawsuit in the NFL. We know of at least one famous concussion Best got BEFORE he entered the NFL, yet he willingly entered the NFL draft anyway. I realize many players didn’t have concussions entering the NFL but still to me it shows that players that entered the NFL had reasonable knowledge of the risk football posed pertaining to concussions due to past experience.

  3. Let’s just all hope the courts, lawyers, and settlements are never needed and this young man can live a healthy and happy life after football with no consequences from his football injuries.

  4. The bigger issue would seem to be how he can prove the damage wasn’t from the hits he took in College. If he was ‘damaged goods’ coming into the NFL, but was cleared to play, wouldn’t his suit be against the NCAA or his college?


  5. I saw his worst concussion live….terrible…the thing is I seem to remember his helmet reading “Cal” on the side…..

  6. Jahvid Best is full of it. I saw him suffer a couple of concussions when he played at University of California. How is the NFL responsible for that?

  7. Best came into the league with a bad concussion history and was treated perfectly according to guidelines. I thought he was going to sue because doctors “WOULD NOT” clear him when he wanted to come back.

  8. I have to eat crow. As a Bills fan, I thought he would end up better than Spiller.

    I’ll gladly eat crow now. That’s my mistake.

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