NFL may soon have to start turning over evidence regarding concussion issue

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The NFL’s effort to keep information regarding what it knew and when it knew it regarding concussions seems to be close to reaching its end.

With more than 150 lawsuits filed by former players who opted out of the concussion settlement still pending, the NFL wants to continue to delay the so-called “discovery” process in separate litigation regarding whether the expenses incurred by the NFL in dealing with these claims are covered by insurance. Via Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Daily, the judge presiding over the insurance case seems to be inclined to a lift the longstanding stay of the discovery process.

“Today is 50 months since the suit was filed so everyone should get a round of applause for doing nothing,” said Chris Carrol, lead counsel for the insurance interests that ultimately hope to not provide coverage to the NFL.

Curiously, the judge presiding over the remaining concussion cases appeared at the hearing in the insurance case and urged the NFL to settle the remaining concussion claims. According to Kaplan, Judge Anita Brody said that the league originally regarded her as a “lovely little grandmother” when she first was assigned the concussion lawsuits, and that the NFL has since learned otherwise.

Judge Jeffrey Oing, who is handling the insurance dispute, seemed to be determined to lift the stay, according to Kaplan.

The NFL has successfully kept the insurance case from generating documents and other evidence that could be used in the concussion cases to show that the NFL was aware of the risks of concussions long before acknowledging it publicly. The mere fact that the NFL has fought the commencement of the discovery phase of the insurance case could be interpreted as the NFL having something to hide.

The bulk of the concussion claims are pending on a potential appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, where a handful of former players are doing everything they can to have the settlement negotiated in August 2013 scrapped, pushing the case all the way back to square one.

10 responses to “NFL may soon have to start turning over evidence regarding concussion issue

  1. Not sure of the basics of the lawsuit. Appears to be an action for
    Declaratory Judgement where the insurance companies are seeking a
    legal decision as to whether they owe coverage to the NFL. There are
    two issues usually in involved ..whether the insurance companies needs to pay for their lawyers to defend the action and if the players
    get a verdict that rules the NFL was liable ..whether the insurance company would have to pay for the damages.
    Usually insurance companies in an abundance of care will tender a defense but leave the issue of who pays for damages to be determined .
    The case really turns on the contract language in the policies. Although a creative lawyer may be able to pierce that issue and somehow argue that what the parties, particularlirly the NFL, knew about prospective damages at the time the insurance contracts were
    signed. In others words ( perhaps a stretch ) if the NFL sought coverage from a large insurance company for future damages knowing
    from studies( that did not share with the insurance company ) that it was very likely that the insurance companies were going to have to pay huge payouts….the insurance company may be able to argue that since the NFL did not have clean hands at time of contract formation, they can get a ruling the contracts were void.
    In other words, and this is not the best analogy,, if you sign an
    insurance policy that covers you for damages that you knew at the time
    were likely to occur and you were then in a position to perhaps prevent
    the damages and you did not, the contract may be voided.

  2. Somewhere between the collusion in the uncapped year, attempted theft of $110M from the shared funds pool and the concussion shenanigans there might be the makings of a RICO case.

  3. Regardless of their culpability in the concussion case and/or any other case that ends up in court, the NFL is the the one with all the money and political clout therefore I have a hard time believing any American court would rule against them. In the US one gets all the “justice” they can afford, and the NFL can afford quite a lot.

  4. Do the right thing Roger…come clean on everything…Concussions…PSI…even spygate tapes showing other teams filming…do it Roger it will be cathartic.

  5. Who knows how many skeletons they have hidden away. We already know they were paying medical journals to say football didn’t cause concussions and hampered usage of the soft capped helmets back in the 90s solely because they didn’t look cool enough. Literally nothing would be surprising.

  6. skol4life says:
    Oct 13, 2016 7:20 PM

    Here we go. The beginning of the end of the NFL. Well done Liberals.
    So I guess conservatives were in favor of players suffering untold brain trauma for your entertainment, in a sport in which the league office hides from them the data showing the real level of risk they are taking?

  7. Interesting that the NFL is fighting so hard to not turn over it’s metaphorical ‘cell phone’ as evidence to be used against it.

    No irony here.

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