The potentially billion dollar NFL concussion case is set to move forward in a big way next week. A large, multidistrict litigation is taking the next step in a federal court in Philadelphia, PA that is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody. So far more than 4,200 individual players have filed suit against the NFL in more than 200 suits claiming that the athletic organization intentionally misled players for years about the long-term health risks of concussions.
This coming Tuesday, April 9, the players and the NFL will square off in Judge Brody’s courtroom to argue the NFL’s motion to dismiss. The NFL’s attorneys claim that the cases should be thrown out of court due to collective bargaining agreements that have been signed between the Player’s Association and the NFL. The NFL argues that it should not be responsible for any damages, noting that the players are employees of individual teams and not the collective league.
The NFL will also argue that there can be no class action because the individual circumstances of each player’s injuries are too dissimilar to be lumped together. The NFL says it has precedent on its side, citing the wrongful death case filed by the family of Minnesota Vikings player Korey Stringer that was thrown out of court for similar collective bargaining reasons.
Players and their attorneys will argue that there was fraud in concealing the dangers of concussions which voids the collective bargaining agreement. Plaintiffs claim the league intentionally misled players, knowing far more than they let on about the harms that concussions can cause. Another issue that plaintiffs will point out is that there are many players not covered by collective bargaining agreements.
It’s possible that Judge Brody could throw the case out, though many experts believe that will not happen. Instead, they see this case moving forward to a trial, though one that will likely take place far down the road. Should that happen, one expert said that he believed the issue would come down to a “battle of the experts.” The plaintiffs will need to put on credible medical experts who can convincingly lay out how the NLF’s conduct led to the harm suffered by the players. Before any of that happens, we will have to wait to hear how the proceedings go on Tuesday.
Pope McGlamry P.C., currently represents former professional football players and their families for injuries and damages sustained as a result of suffering concussions while playing football, and is actively involved in the current concussion litigation. If you or someone you love has been injured by a sports-related concussion, you may be entitled to compensation.
Source: “First oral arguments in NFL concussion case set for April 9 in Philadelphia,” by Jon Campisi, published at PennRecord.com.
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