The National Football League (“NFL”), which is being sued by former pro football players over concealing the long-term risks of sustaining concussions and traumatic head injuries, has asked the Federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) to coordinate NFL Concussion cases in an MDL in Pennsylvania. In Re: National Football League Litigation, MDL No. 2323 (JPML).
The Defendant NFL filed the motion on November 15, 2011, asserting that more than 143 former player Plaintiffs are seeking to hold the NFL liable through claims sounding in negligence and fraud, for damages sustained by former players who suffered concussions and blows to the head while playing in the league.
Four cases have been filed in various courts nationwide, including: Vernon Maxwell, et al. v. National Football League, et al., filed September 12, 2011 in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, involving seventy-three (73) former players and certain of their wives; Dave Pear, et al. v. National Football League, et al., filed September 12, 2011 in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, involving forty-seven (47) former players and certain of their wives; Larry Barnes, et al. v. National Football League, et al., filed October 4, 2011 in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, involving sixteen (16) former players and certain of their wives; and Charles Ray Easterling, et al. v. National Football League, filed [an amended complaint] on October 6, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, involving seven (7) former players and certain of their wives. Another similarly based action was filed on December 5, 2011 in federal court in New Jersey.
The NFL’s MDL petition suggests that if the Judicial Panel concludes that multidistrict litigation is appropriate, all NFL Concussion cases be assigned to Judge Anita B. Brody in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. All four of the pending cases support the NFL’s Motion for Transfer and Coordination.
Each of the pending lawsuits include similar allegations that the NFL had a duty to protect the health and safety of its players by implementing rules, policies and regulations in an attempt to best protects its players, but breached that duty by purportedly failing to warn and protect NFL players against the long-term brain injury risks associated with football related concussions. The plaintiffs further contend that for decades, the NFL has known that multiple blows to the head can lead to long-term brain injury, but that the league made material misrepresentations that there was such link.
Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. is currently investigating concussion injury cases on behalf of former professional football players and athletes, as well as those who may have suffered from a concussion caused by other forms of trauma such as an automobile accident, trucking accident or a slip and fall. If you or someone you love has been injured by a sports-related concussion, you may be entitled to compensation.