The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has granted the National Football League’s motion to consolidate and centralize four concussion lawsuits against the League in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, with the potential for 16 other similar suits to follow.
In an Order filed on January 31, 2012, Honorable Judge John G. Heyburn II, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Kentucky and chairman of the MDL panel, said Defendant NFL Properties, as well as Plaintiffs in the four main suits and nine potentially related suits supported the NFL’s motion. Other concussion suits filed in federal courts in Georgia, New Jersey, New York and Florida will be consolidated with the cases being sent to Philadelphia.
The decision to centralize these concussion lawsuits comes after the panel convened in Miami to hear arguments on the issue. “On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, we find that these four actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization…in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation,” Judge Heyburn said. “The subject actions share factual issues arising from allegations against the NFL stemming from injuries sustained while playing professional football, including damages resulting from the permanent long-term effects of concussions while playing professional football in the NFL.” Judge Heyburn added that consolidating and centralizing these cases would “eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.”
All of the suits at issue allege the NFL failed to take proper action in response to players’ complaints of concussion-related health problems. Former players allege that the League, through its own self-appointed and self-serving concussion committee, has continuously and vehemently downplayed independent research showing the casual link between head injuries in football and long term cognitive issues. The NFL has denied the allegations.
Pope McGlamry, currently represent retired professional football players for injuries and damages sustained as a result of suffering concussions while playing football, and are actively involved in this litigation. If you or someone you love has been injured by a sports-related concussion, you may be entitled to compensation.