Current Litigation

fighting

Class Certification Denied in NHL Concussion Litigation – An analysis of the decision and future implications

Last Friday, Judge Susan Richard Nelson issued a decision denying class certification in the NHL Concussion Litigation, consolidated in Minnesota District Court in August 2014. The case revolves around claims that the NHL has concealed the risks and dangers of brain damage inherent to the sport of professional hockey for decades, as well as rendering improper diagnoses and treatment, prioritizing profit at the expense of the health and safety of those playing the game. Part I of this series analyses Judge Nelson’s ruling and how the case arrived at this point, and Part II will analyze the impact of the ruling and what the players must prove in order to prevail.

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funeral

Crucial Motions Filed in Aaron Hernandez Lawsuit on Behalf of His Daughter

On October 16, 2017 Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez filed a loss of parental consortium lawsuit in Massachusetts Superior Court against three NFL entities and helmet maker Riddell on behalf of her daughter, Avielle. Two potentially important court filings last week bring the case back into focus.

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Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton

Former NHLers Nick Boynton and Daniel Carcillo call for accountability in a new lawsuit and appeals through Players Tribune

On Thursday, two former NHL players, Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton, who have been increasingly critical of the leagues handling of fighting and denial of the risk of brain injury have filed a lawsuit against the NFL in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The players assert that the NHL, outside of any collective bargaining agreement has a duty to keep its players safe.

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Joe Camel

Lawsuit Asserts That NFL Marketing Led to Adrian Robinson’s Death

November 25, 2017 Sheilla Dingus Adrian Robinson Jr. wore the NFL uniform for two years but his parents don’t blame those years for their son’s untimely suicide death, but rather the cumulative effects of twenty years of football that resulted in a posthumous diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Like many other American families, the …

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Ploetz collage

NCAA is headed to discovery in Ploetz CTE lawsuit

While the NCAA may have won the right to limit the scope of the discovery, the lion’s share of that discovery will proceed unfettered in Ploetz v. NCAA, which argues that the NCAA is liable in the CTE-related death of former NCAA athlete Greg Ploetz.

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Lewis v Chiefs, Cardinals

NFL Concussion Settlement Opt-Out Plaintiffs Take on Chiefs & Cardinals

In Part 1 of this series I detailed how §301 of the Labor Management Relations Act is the NFL’s number one go-to defense.  This provision brings cases filed in various state courts against the league into federal jurisdiction when reliance on CBA interpretation is necessary.  Often when the NFL successfully invokes this provision, especially in lawsuits involving retired players, there is no legal standing for the lawsuit under the CBA and the case is dismissed typically without extensive exploration the merits and allegations of illegal or unethical conduct.

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Junior Seau

The NFL’s Preemption Trap and How Concussion Settlement Opt-Outs Plan to Avoid It

December 9, 2017 Sheilla Dingus As concussion settlement class members struggle to overcome delays and denials in the much heralded and massively disappointing NFL Concussion Settlement, opt-out claims are quietly moving forward. By 2012 hundreds of brain injury cases were filed against the NFL, and in some instances helmet maker Riddell, and these, and many …

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Which direction?

What’s next for retired NHL players in their quest for brain injury accountability?

If no appeal is filed, the burden of “pushing the puck” of NHL concussion litigation further “up the ice” toward the goal lies even more firmly on the shoulders of the current and former players who feel they have been wronged. In comments to Hockey News, Stuart Davidson, another attorney representing the players stated, “walking away is not an option,” and hinted that the Steve Montador wrongful death suit may be the first individual case to go to trial.  Comments from William Gibbs of Corboy and Demetrio, who individually represents the Montador estate, seemed to confirm.

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Dr. Bennet Omalu

CTE Expert Dr. Bennet Omalu Challenges NHL’s “Alternative Facts”

“They deny the truth and humanity of science in order to protect their revenue streams.” Sheilla Dingus February 9, 2017 On Wednesday as Judge Anita Brody held a conference detailing registration and award information regarding the well publicized NFL concussion settlement, renowned neuropathologist and researcher Dr. Bennet Omalu, submitted a sixteen-page letter defending the integrity …

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Adrian Robinson

Adrian Robinson Wrongful Death CTE Lawsuit Paints a Stunning Picture of Deceit

May 22, 2017 Sheilla Dingus “This Complaint sets forth an unparalleled story in American sports: it begins with a stunning conspiratorial arrangement and ends with the horrific death of Adrian Robinson, Jr.” So begins a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania state court on May 15. The complaint reaches back decades into the history of the NFL …

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Lane Johnson

Eagles’ Tackle Lane Johnson Claims His Suspension is a Result of “Misconduct” by NFL, NFLPA

In response to a 10-game suspension for violation of the league’s Performing Enhancing Substances Policy, Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson claims he was denied a “fundamentally fair hearing and was instead subjected to an arbitration scheme so deeply flawed as to forever preclude the possibility of a fair outcome,” in a lawsuit filed against the NFL and NFLPA last week. The suit follows a complaint of similar allegations filed with the National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor, by Johnson last November.

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Lane Johnson

Is Lane Johnson’s Lawsuit Against the NFL and NFLPA a Magnifying Glass into Larger Problems?

May 8, 2017 Sheilla Dingus @SheillaDingus Last week Lane Johnson filed a reply in response to the NFLPA’s opposition to vacate an arbitration award in which he was suspended for ten games for violating the collectively bargained policy on performance enhancing substances.  The lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of Ohio in January, …

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Lane Johnson

Lane Johnson Violates a Court Order to Engage in a “Turf War” with the NFL and NFLPA

A short time later, the NFLPA filed a sealed motion to dismiss. Both the NFL and NFLPA agree that Johnson’s arbitration ruling was correctly upheld because by his own admission he ingested the substance in question and that the lawsuit should be moved to New York, claiming the case has no connection to Ohio outside of it being the location of Johnson’s lawyers.
On February 8, Judge Sara Lioi issued an order staying, or placing on hold the proceedings until she could render a decision on the motions to dismiss or transfer. In violation of the order, Johnson presented the judge with a “Valentine gift” on February 14, in filing an amended complaint which attempted to show further case connections to Ohio.

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NFLPA grievance

NFLPA Files Grievance Against NFL for CBA Medical Violations

May 9, 2017 Sheilla Dingus @SheillaDingus In an unusual legal twist, NFL Counsel Paul Clement filed a letter with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday citing a grievance against the NFL and its Clubs by the NFLPA. The grievance claims violations of the CBA in regard to the mishandling of prescription drugs as …

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DeMaurice Smith / Lane Johnson

NFLPA Uses Deflategate Precedent Against Lane Johnson

A short time later, the NFLPA filed a sealed motion to dismiss. Both the NFL and NFLPA agree that Johnson’s arbitration ruling was correctly upheld because by his own admission he ingested the substance in question and that the lawsuit should be moved to New York, claiming the case has no connection to Ohio outside of it being the location of Johnson’s lawyers.
On February 8, Judge Sara Lioi issued an order staying, or placing on hold the proceedings until she could render a decision on the motions to dismiss or transfer. In violation of the order, Johnson presented the judge with a “Valentine gift” on February 14, in filing an amended complaint which attempted to show further case connections to Ohio.

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Painkillers in the NFL Part III

Painkiller Abuse in the NFL Part III: A Tale of Two Lawsuits

Painkiller use is part of a largely unseen culture within professional sports in general, and the NFL in particular. While no one would question the need for painkillers in a sport as inherently physical as professional football, where to draw the line between legitimate pain management and painkillers as a tool for exploitation of athletes is much less clear.

As I described in Part I, a culture has developed within the league that prioritizes getting the best players on the field in order to win football games, giving fans the star players they want to see, and most importantly from a league perspective, to generate ever increasing revenue.

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NFL Painkiller Lawsuit

Two Remaining Plaintiffs in NFL Painkiller Lawsuit Fight to Keep Case Alive

June 23, 2017 Sheilla Dingus @SheillaDingus A lawsuit that began with numerous accusations against all 32 NFL Clubs by 14 former players was whittled down to what Judge Alsup deemed “sufficiently pled” allegations against 14 teams by 9 players last month, but in accordance with Alsup’s interpretation of the statue of limitations he found all …

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Hall of Famer Richard Dent

Will the NFLPA’s grievance impact current painkiller litigation against the NFL?

May 10, 2017 Sheilla Dingus @SheillaDingus Richard Dent is a Hall of Fame defensive end, and MVP of Super Bowl XX, but now his opponent is the league for which he once played – and it may prove to be his fiercest opponent of all.  In May 2014 Dent, along with nine other named plaintiffs …

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