SBD/March 13, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Faces Complex Legal Issues With Regard To Head Injury Litigation

The legal battle between the NFL and its former players over the effects of head injuries is “shaping up to be one of the more complicated tort claims in recent times,” according to Matthew Futterman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. What makes this litigation “so complex are the tricky questions it poses.” For example, Futterman asks, “Is someone's mental deficit the result of injuries sustained in professional football, injuries from some other level of football, or just the vicissitudes of old age? And should former players who are asymptomatic be allowed to sue the NFL on grounds of potential future suffering? … Assuming the NFL is found liable, we'll have to wade into another issue: How much, and under what formula, should the victims be compensated?” By “all accounts, any trial is probably years off.” But NFL and plaintiffs’ lawyers “will square off for the first time next month before Judge Anita B. Brody in federal court in Philadelphia.” The focus “will be the NFL's motion to dismiss the case.” Should the suits “go forward, the first order of business will be which plaintiffs to include.” It is “possible the suit will be thrown out next month, although the plaintiffs would likely appeal” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/13).
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